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Full text of "Sermons of the Rev. Francis A. Baker, priest of the Congregation of St. Paul : with a memoir of his life"

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SERMONS 


OF THE 


REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER, 


PRIEST OF THE CONGREGATION OF ST. PAUL. 


...- WITH A 


MEMOIR OF HIS LIFE 


BY 


REV. A. F. HEWIT. 


FO"CRTH EDITION. 


NEW YORK: 
LA"\YRENCE KEHOE, 145 NASSAU STREET. 
1867. 



Entered according to Act of Con
sg. in the year 186.'i. 


By A. F. HEWIT, 
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the 
Southern District of New York. 


NOV 16 1954 



PREF ACE. 


IN offering the l,femoir and Serl110ns of this volullle to 
the friends of F. Baker, anù to the public, propriety re- 
... quires of mê a fe,v ,vords of explanation. The nUl11ber 
of those ,vho have been l110re or less interested in the 
events touched 11 pon in the slietch of his life and labors 
is very great, and composed of many different classes of 
persons in various places, and of more than one religious 
coml11union. I cannot suppose that all of them will reaù 
these pages, but it is likely that many will; and there- 
fore a word is due to those who are more particularly 
interested, as ,veil as to the general class of readers. 
I have to ask the indulgence of all my readers for 
having interwoven so much of my own history and my 
own reflections on the topics and events of the period 
included within the limits of the narrative. They 
have woven themselves in spontaneously, without 
any intention on my part, and on account of the close 
connexion bet"\veen myself and the one whose career I 
have been describing; and I have been unable to unravel 
them from the texture of the narrative without breal
ing 
its threads. 
I have simply transferred to paper that picture of the 
past, long forgotten amid the occupations of an active 



4 


PREFACE. 


life, which came up again, unbidden and with great 
vividness, befoi"e the eye of memory, during the hours 
,vhile the remains of my brother and dearest friend lay 
robed in violet, waiting for the last solemn rites of the 
requiem to be fulfilled. If I have succeeded, I cannot 
but think that the picture will have something of the 
same interest for others that it has for myself. Those 
who knew and loved t.he original, will, I hope, prize it 
-for his sake; and their own recollections will diffuse the 
coloring and animation of life over that which in itself 
is but a pale and indistinct sketch. For their sakes 
chiefly I have prepared it, so far as the mere personal 
motive of perpetuating the memory of a revered and be- 
loved individual is concerned. But I have had a higher 
motive as my chief reason for undertaking the task: a 
desire to promote the glory of God, by preserving and 
extending the memory of the graces and virtues with 
which He adorned one of His most faithful children. I 
have wished to place before the world the example of 
one of the most signal conversions to the Catholic !aith 
which has taken place in our country, as a lesson to all 
.... 
to imitate the pure and disinterested devotion to truth 
and conscience which it presents to them. 
Let me not be misunderstood. I do not present the 
example of his conversion, or that of the great number 
of persons of similar character who have embraced the 
Catholic religion, as a proof sufficient by itself of the 
truth of that religion. I propose it as a specimen of 
many instances in which the power of the Catholic 
religion to draw intelligent minds and upright hearts to 



PREFACE. 


5 


itself, and to inspire thpm with a pure and noble spirit 
of self-sacrifice in the cause of God and humanity, is 
exhibited. This is surely a sufficient moti Vè for examin- 
ing carefully the reasons and evidences on 'v hich their 
sublnission to the Church was grounded; and an incent- 
ive to seek for the truth, with an equally sincere inten- 
tion to embrace it, at whatever cost or struggle it may 
demand. 
It may appear to the casual reader that I have dra'Vll 
in this narrative an ideal portrait which exaggerates the 
reality. I do not think I have done so ; and I believe 
the most competent judges will attest n1Y strict fidelity 
to the truth of nature. If I have represented my subject 
as a most perfect and beautiful character, the model of a 
man, a Christian, and a priest of God, I 11:1 ve not ex- 
ceeded the sober judgment of the most impartial ,,"'it- 
nesses. A Protestant Episcopal clergyman, of rel11ar1
- 
able honesty and generosity of nature, said of him to a 
Catholic friend: "You have one perfect man among 
your converts." Another, a Catholic clergyman, whose 
coolness of judgment and reticence of praise are remar}{- 
able traits in his character, said, on hearing of his 
decease: "The best priest in N e"\v York is dead." I 
have no doubt that more than one would have been 
willing to give their own lives in place of his, if he 
could have been saved by the sacrifice. 
In narrating events connected with F. Baker's varied 
career, I have simply related those things of which I 
have had either personal knowledge, or the evidence fur- 
nished by his own correspondence with a very dear 


'" 



6 


PREFACE. 


friend, aided by the inforlnation ,vhich that friend has 
furnished me. I have to thank. this very kind and 
valued friend, the Rev. Dwight E. Lynlan, for the aid 
he has given me in this ,yay, ,vhich has increased so 
much the completeness and interest of the 
renloir. I 
am also indebted to another, still dearer to the departed, 
for information concerning his early history and family. 
I trust that those readers ,vho are not members of the 
Catholic cOilllllunion, especially such as have bpen the 
fri
nds of the subject and the author of this meuloir, 
,vill find nothing here to jar unnecessarily upon their 
sentullents and feeliIlgs. Fidelity to the deceased has 
required me not to conceal his conviction of the exclu- 
sive truth and authority of the doctrine and communion 
of the holy, Catholic, Apostolic, Roman Church. The 
same fidelity would prevent me, if my own principles did 
not do so, from mixing up ,vith religious questions any 
thing savoring of personal arrogance, or directed to the 
vindication of private feelings, and retaliation upon in- 
dividuals ,vith whom religious co:r:flicts have brought us 
into collision. I "\vish those who still retain their friend- 
ship for the dead, and whose minds will recur "\vith 
interest to scenes of this narrative, in which they \\ere 
concerned with him, to be assured of that lasting senti 
l11ent of regard "\vhich he carried ,vith him to the grave, 
and which survives in the heart of the writer of these 
lines. 
In the history of F. Baker's missionary career, I have 
endeavored to select from the materials on hand such 
portions of the details of particular missions as would 



PREFACE. 


7 


make the nature of the ,york in which he was engaged 
intelligible to all classes of readers, ,vithout making the 
narrative too tedious and monotonous. I have wished 
to present all the diverse aspects and all the salient 
points of his missionary life, and to give as varied and 
miscellaneous a collection of specimens from its records 
as possible. From the necessity of the case, only a small 
number of missions could be particularly noticed. Those 
which have been passed by have not been slighted, 
however, as less worthy of notice than the others, but 
omitted from the necessit.yof selecting those n10st con-' 
venient for illustration of the theme in hand. The sta- 
tistics given, in regard to numbers, etc., in the history of 
our missions, have all been taken from records carefully 
made at the time, and based on an exact enum
ration of 
the communions given. I trust this volume will renew 
and keep alive in the minds of those who took part in 
these holy scenes, and who hung on the lips of the 
eloquent preacher of God's ,vord whose life and doctrine 
are contained in it, the memory of the holy lessons of 
teaching and example by which he SOlJ.g!lt to lead them 
to heaven. 
Of the sermons contained in this volume, seventeen 
have been reprinted from the four volumes of " Sermons 
by the Paulists, 1861-64;" and twelve published from 

fSS. Four of these are mission sermons, selected from 
the complete series, as the most suitable specimens of 
this species of discourse. Th
 others are parochial 
sermons, preached in the parish churçh of St. Paul the 
Apostle, N
w York. There still remain a considerable 



8 


PREFACE. 


number of sermons, more or less complete; but the con.. 
fused and illegible state in "\vhich F. Balier left his 1,188. 
has made the task of reading and copying them very 
laborious, and prevented any larger number from being 
prepared for publication at the present time. I leave 
these Sermons, with the 1vfemoir of their author, to find 
their own way to those minds and hearts which are pre- 
pared to receive them, and to do the good for which 
they are destined by the providence of God. 
1ay we all 
have the grace to imitate that high standard of Christian 
virtue which they set before us, as true disciples of 
Jesus Christ our Lord! 


A. F. H. 


ST. PAm's Cmmcu, Fifty-ninth Street, 
Advent, 186:>. 



CONTENTS 


PAGE 
MRMOm. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 
SERl\[ON : 
I.-The Necessity of Salvation 1 ! . . . . . .. 209 
II.-Mortal Sin.... . . . . . . . . . . "H" S . .. . ... 22G 
III TI P t . I J Ù t .ill.lSSIOn ermons 2 
() 
.- Ie ar ICU ar u gmen . J . . . . . . . <JòJ 
IV.-IIeaven. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 232 
V.- The Duty of Growing in Christian Know ledge (First 
Sunday in Advent).... ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 2G3 
VI.-The Mission of St. John tho Baptist (Second Sunday in 
Ad vent) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 271 
VII.-God's Desire to be Loved (Christmas Day). . . . . . .. . . .. 282 
VIII.-The Failure and Success of the Gospel (Sexagesima). . .. 2Ð
 
IX.-The Work of Life (Septuagesima). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 803 
X.-Tbe Church's Admonition to the Individual Soul (Ash- 
Wednesday) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 31
 
XI.-The Negligent Christian (Third Sunday in Lent). ..... 8
0 
XII.-The Cross, the Measure of Sin (Passion Sunday). . . . . .. 82Ð 
XIII.-Divine Calls and Warnings (Lent). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 840 
XIV.-The Tomb of Christ, the School of Comfort (Easter Sun- 
day) ................... _ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 3:>2 
XV.-St. Mary :Magdalene at the Sepulchre (Easter Sunùay).. 3GO 
XVI.-The Preacher, the Organ of the !Ioly Ghost (Fourth 
Sunday after Easter)... . . . .. . . . . .. . . . . . . .. . . . . . .. 870 
XVII.-The Two Wills in Man (Fourth Sunday after Easter)... 880 
XVIII.-The Intercession of the Blessed Virgin the IIighest Powér 
of Prayer (Sunùay within the Octave of the Ascen- 
sion) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 3 Ð 1 
XIX.-Mysteries in Religion (Trinity Sunday). . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 8!HJ 
XX.-Tbe Worth of the Soul (Third Sunday after Pentecost).. 408 
XXI.-The Catholic's Certitude concerning the Way of Salvation 
(Fifth Sunday after Pentecpit) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 418 
1* 



10 


CONTENTS. 


SERMON: PAGB 
XXII.-The Presence of God (Fifth Sunday after Pentecost).... 429 
XXIII.-Keeping the Law not Impossible (Ninth Sunday nfter 
Pentecost) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . : . . . . . . . .. 43'7 
XXIV.-The Spirit of Sacrifice (Feast of St. :.Laurence).. .. . . . .. 447 
XXV.-Mary's Destiny a Type of Ours (Assumption)....... .. 456 
XXVI.-Care for the Dead (Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost) . .. 465 
XXVII.-Success the Reward of Merit (Fifteenth Sunday after 
Pentecost) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 475 
XXVIII.-The Mass the Highest Worship (Twenty-first Sunday 
after Pentecost). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 484 
XXIX.-The Lessons of Autumn (Last Sunday after Pentecost).. 493 


.... 



MEMO'IR. 



.. 



MEMOIR. 


FRANCIS A. BAKER was born in Baltimore, March 30,1820. 
The name given him in baptism was Francis Asbury, after 
the l\Iethodist bishop of that name; but when he became a, 
Catholic he changed it to Francis ...\.loJ"sius, in honor of St. 
Francis de Sales and St. Aloysius, to both of whom he had 
a special de\?otion, and both of whom he resembled in many 
striking points of character. 
He was of mixed German and English descent, and combined 
the characteristics of both races in his temperament of mind 
and body. TIe had also some of the Irish and older American 
blood in his veins. His paternal grandfather, William Baker, 
emigrated from Germany at an early age to Baltimore, where 
he married a young lady of Irish origin, and became a wealthy 
merchant. His maternal grandfather, the Rev. John Dickens, 
was an Englishman, a Methodist preacher, who resided chiefly 
in Philadelphia. His grandmother was a native of Georgia. 
During the great yenow-fever epidemic in Philadelphia, 
Mr. Dickens remained at his post, and his wife fell a victim 
to the disease, with her eldest daughter. His father was Dr. 
Samuel Baker, of Baltimore, and his mother, Miss Sarah 
Dickens. Dr. Baker was an eminent physician and medical 
lecturer, holding the honorable positions of Professor of 
Materia Medica in the University of 
Iaryland, and Pres- 
ident of the Baltimore Medico-Chirurgical Society. There 



14 


MEMOIR OF 


was a striking similarity in the character of Dr. Baker and 
his son Francis. The writer of an obituary notice of the 
father, in the Baltimore Atltenæum, tells us that his early 
preceptors admired "the balance of the faculties of his mind," 
and that "his classmates were attached to him for his integ- 
rity and affectionate manners." In another passage, the same 
writer would seem to be describing Francis Baker, to those 
who knew him alone, and have never seen the original of 
the sketch. "The style of conversation with which Dr. 
Baker interested his friends, his patients, or the stranger, 
was marked with an unaffected simplicity. Even when he 
was most fluent and communicative, no one could suspect 
mm of an ambition to shine. He spoke to give utterance 
to pleasing and useful thoughts on science, religion, and 
general topics, as if his chief enjoyment was to dijfu8e the 
charm.s of his own tranquillity. In social intercourse, his 
dignity was the natural attitude of his virtue. On the part 
of the trifling it required but little discernment to perceive 
the tacit warning that vulgar familiarity would find nothing 
congenial in him. He never engrossed conversation, and 
seemed always desirous of obtaining information by eliciting 
it from others. Whether he listened or spoke, his coun- 
tenance, receiving impressions readily from his mind, was an 
expressi ve index of the tone of his various emotions and 
thoughts. The conduct of Dr. Baker as a physician, a 
Christian, and a citizen, was a mirror, reflecting the beauti- 
fu] image of goodness in so distinct a form as to leave none 
to hesitate about the sincerity and purity of his feelings. It 
therefore constantly reminded many of 'the wisdom that is 
from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy 
to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without 
partiality, and without hypocrisy.' The friendly sympathy 
and anxiety which he evinced in the presence of human 
suffering attached all classes of his patients to him, and he 
was very happy in his benevolent tact at winning the affcc- 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


15 


tion of children, even in their sickness." Dr. Baker was a 
member of the 1tlethodist Churcll, and an intimate friend 
of the celebrated and eloquent preacher Summerfield. He 
was not one, however, of the enthusiastic sort, but sober, 
quiet, and reserved. He never went through any period of 
religious excitement himself; or endeavored to practise on 
the susceptibilities of his children. He said of himself, as 
one of his intimate friends testifies, "that he did not know the 
period when he became religious, so gradually was his life 
regulated by the spiritual truths which enlightened his mind 
from childhood." He had no hostile feelings toward the 
Catholic Church, and was a great admirer and warm friend 
of the Sisters of Charity, many of whom I have heard 
frequently speak of him in terms of the most affectionate 
respect. nis ben
volence toward the poor ,vas unbounded, 
and he was in fact endeared to all classes of the community, 
without exception, in Baltimore. Francis Baker had a very 
great respect for his father, and was very fond of talking of 
him to me, during the first period of our acquaintance, when 
his early recollections were fresh and recent in his mind. 
Of his mother he had but a faint remembrance, having 
been deprived of her at the age of seven years. It is easy to 
judge of her character, however, from that of her children, 
and of her sister, who was a mother to her orphans from the 
time of her death until her own life was ended among them. 
Mrs. Baker's brother, the Hon. Asbury Dickens, is well 
known as having been for nearly half a century the Secretary 
of the Senate of the United States, which position he held 
until his death, which occun"ed at an advanced age a few 
years since. 
Dr. Baker had four sons and two daughters. Only one of 
them, Dr. William George Baker, ever married, and he died 
without children: so that Dr. Samuel Baker left not a single 
grandchild after him to perpetuate his name or family-and of 
his children, one daughter only survives. Three of his sons 



16 


MEMOIR OF 


,vere physicians of great promise, 'v hich they did not live to [ul- 
ill. Francis was his third son, and the one who most resembled 
him in character. Of his boyhood I know little, except that his 
companions at school who grew up to manhood, and preser
ed 
their acquaintance with him, were extre1nely attached to hiIn. 
One of them passed an evening and night in our house, as 
the gueet of F. Baker, but a few months before his death, 
with great pleasure to both. I have also heard some of the 
good Sisters of Charity speak of having known the little 
Frank Baker as a boy, and .mention the fact that he was very 
fond of visiting them. I am sure that his childhood was an 
extremely happy one until the period of his father's death. 
This event took place in October, 1835, when Francis was in 
his sixteenth year, and in the fiftieth year of Dr. Baker's life. 
It ,vas very sudden and unexpected, and.threw a shadü\v of 
grief and sadness over the future of his children, which was 
deepened by the subsequent untimely decease of the two 
eldest sons, Samuel and 'Villiam. 
Francis was entered at Princeton Oollege soon after his 
father's death, and graduated there with the class of 1839. 
I am not a\vare that his college life had any remarkable 
incidents. He was not ambitious of distinguishing himself, 
or inclined to apply hhnself to very severe study. I believe, 
however, that his standing was respectable, and l1is conduct 
regular and exemplary. lIe was not decidedly religious in 
his early youth. J\Iethodism had no attraction for him, and 
the Calvinistic preaching at Princeton ,vas repugnant to his 
reason and feelings. Whatever religious imyressions he ha
 
in childhood were chiefly those produced by the Catholic 
Church, whose services he was fond of attending; but these 
were not deep or lasting. The early death of his father, anJ 
the consequent responsibility and care thrown upon him as the 
male head of the fan1i1y, first caused him to reflect deeply, and 
to seek for some decided religious rule of his (HVll life and 
conduct, and finally led him to join the Protesta
lt Episcopal 



REV. FRANCIS Å. BAKER. 


17 


cOffilllunioh, and to resolve to prepare himself for the ministry. 
.A11 the members of 11is family joined the same communion, 
and 'were baptized ,vith him, in St. Paul's Church, bJ" 
the rector of the parish, Dr. "\V yatt. This event took place 
in 1841, or '42. Soon afterward, 1\11'. Baker formed an 
acquaintance with a young man, a candidate for orders and au 
inmate of the family of Dr. Whittingham, the Bisbop of lrlary- 
land, which was destined to ripen into a most endearing and 
life-long friendship, and to have a ll10st ilnportant influence 011 
his subsequent history. This gentleman ,vas D\vight Edwards 
Lyman, a son of the Rev. Dr. Lyman a respectable Presby- 
terian minister, of the same age with Francis TIaker, and an 
ardent disciple of the school of John IIenry N e"wman. At 
the time of his baptism, Mr. Baker ,vas only acquainted with 
church principles as they were taught by Dr. Wyatt, who 
was an old-fashioned High Churchman. The intercourse 
,vhich he bad ,vith Mr. Lyman was tbe principal occasion 
of introducing him to an acquaintance with the Oxford 
lllovement, into ,vbich he very soon entered with his whole 
mind and heart. In 1842, Mr. Lyman was sent to St. Jalnes's 
College, near IIagerstown, where he remained several years, 
receiving orders in the interval. During this time, l\lr. Baker 
kept up a frequent and most confidential correspondence with 
him, which is full of liveliness and humor in its earlier 
stages, but becomes more grave and serious as both advanced 
nearer to the time of their ordination. It continued during 
the entire period of their ministry in the Episcopal Church, 
and during the whole subsequent life of 1tlr. Baker, closing 
with a very playful letter written by the latter, a few days 
before his last illness. In one of these letters, he ackno,v ledges 
his obligations to 1\11'. Lyman as the principal instrument 
of making him acquainted ,,,ith Catholic principles, in tbese 
,vn,rm and affectionate words: " I do not know ,,"'hether 
_ yon are aware of the advantage I derived from you in the 
earlier part of our acquaintance, by reason of your greater 



18 


MEMOIR OF 


familiarity with the Catholic system as exhibited in the 
Anglican .Church. The influence you exerted was of a kind 
of which I can hardly suppose you to have been conseious; 
yet I am sure you ,vill be 
ratified to think it was effectual, 
as I believe, to fix me more firmly in the system for which I 
bad long entertained so profoung a reverence and affection. 
These are benefits which I cannot forget, and ,vhich (if there 
were not other reasons of ,vhich I need not ßpeal
) must al,vays 
keep a place for you in the heart of your unworthy friend." 
The nature of the later correspondence between these two 
ii-iends, and their mutual influence on each other, will appear 
Inter in this narrative. There are friendships "\vhich are 
fonned in heaven, and in looking back upon that "\vhich grew 
up between these two young men of congenial spirit, and in 
,vhich I was also a sharer in a subordinate degree, I cannot 
but admire the benignant ways of Divine Providence, by 
,vhich those strands which afterward bound our existence 
together so closely ,vere first interwoven. I had myself met 
1\lr. Lyman, some years before this, and felt the charm of his 
glo'wing and enthusiastic advocacy of principles ,,"hich '
ere 
just beginning to germinate in my own mind. Soon after 
Mr. Lyman's removal to Hagerstown, I made the acquaint- 
ance of lIr. Baker, a circurnstance which the latter mentions 
in his next letter to his friend in these "\yords, which I trust I 
nlay be pardoned for quoting- 
" The Bishop's fanÚly have a young man staying with them 
(1\11'. II.), a. convert to the Chureh, and one, I believe, of great 
promise. He was a Congregationalist lninister, and Rev. 1.11'. 
B. read lTIe a letter from him, dated about a month ago, be- 
fore his c0111ing into the Church, the tone of "hich was far 
more Catholic than that of many (alas!) of those who have 
been partakers of the holy treasures to be found only in 
her bosom. 1Yfr. B. tells me that Church principles are silently 
spreading in the North, among the sects." In this place, I 
believe that a spirit has been raised which one would hardly 



REV. FRANCIS- A. EAKEn. 


19 


itnagine on loo1.-ing at the surface of things, iliough that is 
troubled enough." 
This letter was dated April 22, 1843. 
I had just arrived in Baltimore, at the invitation of Dr. 
WhittinghaJn, the Protestant Episcopal Bishop of 1tlaryland, 
and been received as a candidate for orders in his diocese. 
)lr. Baker, ,vho was also a candidate for orders, lived just 
opposite the Bi
hop's residence, in Courtlandt strèet, and was 
pursuing his theological studies in priyatc. I lived in the 
TIi:;hop's house, and I think I met Mr. Baker there on the 
first evening of my arrival. We were nearly of the same age, 
and soon found that our taste;:; and opinions 1\ere very conge. 
Ilial to each other. Of coursc, I returned his visit very soon, 
and I became at once very intÏrnate 'with his family. It was 
a charnlÏng placc and a delightful circle. Francis, as the eld- 
est brother, ,,-as the head of the house. IIis aunt, l,Iiss Dick. 
ens, fulfilled the ofÌÌce of a mother to her orphaned nephews 
and nieces "ith ,vinning grace and gentleness. .1.\ younger 
brother, Alfred, theIl about eighteen years of age, ,yas at 
hOlne, pursuing his rnedical studies. T,,
o sisters completed 
the IlU111ber of thc falnily, all bõund together in the most dc- 
voted and tendcr lovc, all a1ike in that charnl of character 
.which :is cOinbillcd from it fervent and genial spirit of reli- 
gion, amiability of temper, and a high-toned culture of mind 
and manners, chastened and subdued by trial and sorrow. I 
must not pass by entirely ,yithout mention another inITIate of 
the family, "hose good-humored, joyous countenance ,,-as 
ahn1Js the first to greet lne at the door-little Caroline, the 
last Qf tbe fan1ily servants, \vho ,yas Il1anumitted as soon ns 
she arriyed at a proper age, al,,-ays devotedly attached to her 
young 111::1ste1', and after,rard one of the most eager and de- 
lighted spectators at his ordhlation as a Catholic priest. 
The house "as one of those places "There every article of 
furniture and the entire spirit tbat pervades its arrangement 
speaks eloquently of tbe past fan1ily history, and recalls tbe 



20 


MEMOIR OF 


nlelnory of its depar d members and departed scenes of do- 
mestic happiness. Dr. Baker l1ad left his children a compe- 
tent but moderate fortune, which was managed .with the 
utmost prudence bJ-Francis, who possessed at twenty-one all 
tbe wisdom of a man of fifty. There was nothing of the 
splendor and luxury of wealth to be seen in the household, 
but a modest simplicity and propriety, a home-like comfort, 
and that perfection of order and arrangement, regulated by a 
pure and exquisite taste, which is far more attractive. Mr. 
Baker's borne was always the mirror of bis mind. In later 
years, when he lived in his own rectory, although his family 
circle had lost two of its precious links, the same charm per- 
vaded every nook and corner of the home of the survivors, 
the young and idolized pastor and his t,vo sisters. His study 
at St. Luke's l'ectory was the beau ideal of a clergJITIan's 
sanctuary of study and prayer, after the Church of England 
model; ,vith something added, which betokened a more re- 
cluse and sacerdotal spirit, and a more Catholic type of 
devotion. One might have read in it !Ir. Baker's character 
at a glance, and might bave divined tbat the inhabitant of 
that room was a perfect gentleman, a man of the most pure 
intellectual tastes., a pastor completely absorbed in the duties 
of his state, a recluse in his life, and very Catholic in the ten- 
dencies and aspirations of his soul. 
Of 111'. Baker's family, only one sister has survived hin1. 
Alfred Baker died first. Like his brother, he was a model 
of manly beauty, although he did 110t in the least resemble 
hin1 in forlll or feature. Francis Baker, as all who ever saw 
hÍJn know, was remarkably handsome. Those who only 
kne,v him after he reached mature age, and remember him 
only as a priest, will a
sociate with his appearance chiefly 
that in1press of sacerdotal dignity and mildness, of placid, 
intellectual COll1posure, of purity, nobility, and benignity of 
character, which was engraven or rather sculptlu'ed in llis 
face and attitude. Dressed in the proper costnn1e, he might 



nEVe FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


21 


have been taken as a living study for a Father of the Church, 
a holy herlnit of the desert, or a lnediæval bi
hop. He was 
cast in an antique and classic moulù. There ,,,,"as not a trace 
of the man of modern times or of the lUan" of the world about 
him. His countenance and manner in late years also bore 
traces of the fatiguing, laborious life ,vhich he led, and the 
hard, rough work to ,vhich he was devoted. On account of 
these things, and because he was so completely a priest and 
a religious, one could scarcely think of admiring him as a 
man. His portrait ,vas never pain(ed, and the photogra})hs 
of him which were taken were none of them very successful, 
and most of them mere caricatures. An am bro(ype in profile 
,vas taken at Chicago for Mr. Healy the artist, which is ad- 
lnirable, and from this the only good photographs have been 
taken; but the adequate in1age of Father Baker, as he ap- 
peared at the altar, or when his face "'''as lit up in preaching 
the Divine word, will live only in the memory of those who 
knew him. At the period of which I speak, he had just at- 
tained the maturity of youthful and manly beauty, which 
was heightened in its effect by his perfect dignity and grace 
of manner. His brother Alfred was cast in a slighter mould, 
and had an almost feminine loveliness of aspect, fìgure, and 
character. He was as modest and pure as a young maiden, 
'with far more vivacity of feature and manner than his brother, 
and a more vivid and playful temperament. There was noth- 
ing, howeyer, effeminate in his character or countenance. 
lie 'was full of talent, high-spirited, generous and chivalrous 
in his temper, conscientious and blameless in his religious and 
moral conduct. He graduated at the Catholic College of St. 
:àlary's in Baltimore, and was a great favorite of the late 
Archbishop Eccleston and several others of the Catholic cler- 
gy. His IIigh Church principles had a strong dash of Catho- 
licityin them, and he useù often to speak of the "ignominious 
name, Protestant," which is prefixed to the designation of the 
Episcopal Church in this country. lIe was a devoted admirer 



22 



rE
IOIR OF 


of }'Ir. Newman, and follo,ved him, like so Inany others, to 
the verge of the Catholic Church, Lut dre,v back, startled and 
perplexed, when he passed over. T,vo or three years after the 
tirne I am describing, he began the practice of his profession. 
vdth brilliant prospects. The family renloved to a larger 
and more central residence, for his sake, near St. Paul's 
Church, where Francis was Assistant 1\Iinister. All things 
seemed to smile and promise fair, but this beautiful bud had 
a ",VOrlTI in it. A slow and lingering but fatal attack ofphthi- 
sis seized him, just as ne was beginning to succeed in his 
professional career. IIis .brother accompanied him to Bermu- 
da, but the voyage was rather an additional suffering than a 
benefit, and on the 9th of April, 1852, he died. It was Good 
Friday. lIe had prayed frequently that he might die on that 
day, and before his departure, he called his brother to him, 
made a general confession, desired hilll to pronounce over hilTI 
the form of absolution prescribed in the English Prayer-Book, 
and received the communion of the Episcopal Church. These 
acts were sacramentally \alneless, bnt I trust, without pre- 
suming to decide positively on a secret matter which God 
alone can judge, that his intention was right before God, and 
his error a Inistake of judgn1ent without peryersity of will. 
I-lis brother afterward felt deeply solicitous lest he might 
haye been himself blamable for keeping him in the Episcopal 
communion, and grieved that he had died out of the visible 
communion of the Catholic Church. Still, as he ,vas conscious 
of his own integrity of purpose, he tranquillized his mind ,vitI) 
the hope that his brother had died in spiritual COilllTIUnion 
"ith the true Church and in the charity of God, and endeavored. 
to aid him, as far as he was still within the reach of hUlnan 
assistance, by having Tuany masses offered for the repose of 
his soul. 
:ßliss Dickens died. a little before Alfred, and Elizabeth 
Baker died some time after her brother became a Catholic, but 
before his ordination. 



REV. FRAKCIS A. BAKER. 


23 


I return now to the period when 1tlr. Baker and all these 
members of his faluily were living a retired and happy life 
together in the home on CourtIandt street. I remember this 
time with peculiar pleasure. 111'. nal
er, ,vhom I always 
called Frank, as he was usually called by his friends, partly 
from the peculiar affection they felt for him, and also because 
of its appropriateness as an epithet of his character, ,yent 
every day with me once or twice to prayers; and every day 
we ,yalked together. When the peculiar, tinkling bell of 
old St. Paul's, which will be remembered by many a reader 
of these pages, gave notice of divine service there, we resorted 
in company to that venerable and unique church. It was 
spacious and ecclesiastical, though not regularly beautiful in 
its architecture. A basso-relievo adorned its architrave, and 
a bright gilded cross graced its tall to\\er. It had a hand- 
some 'altar of white marble, an object of our special pride 
and devotion, "With the usual reading-desk and pulpit rising 
behind it. The pulpit was a light and graceful structure, sur- 
mounted by a canopy which terminated in a cros
, and having 
another cross surrounded by a glory emblazoned on its 
ceiling, just over the preacher's head. The door was in the 
rear of the pulpit, which stood far out from the chancel wall, 
and in the door was a beautiful transparency of the Ecce 
llomo, lighted from the chancel window, which had an Ailan- 
thus behind it, causing a pleasing illusion in the IlJind of the 
beholder that the dirty brick pavenlent of the court-yard 
was a pretty rural garden. The chancel was large aud 
imposing. An episcopal chair, surmounted by a mitre, 
formed one .of its conspicuous ornaments, .and two seven.. 
branched gilded gas-burners stood on the chancel rail, ,vhich 
"'"ere lighted at Evening Prayer, or Vespe1'8, as we were wont 
to call it. In this church, the people all knelt with their 
backs to the altar, and facing the great door, whereat a nunl- 
her of us, being scandalized, determined to face about on all 
occasions and kneel toward the altar, which we did rigidly 



24 


:MEMOIR OF 


and in the most impressive nl ann er, to the great annoyance 
of the rector, Dr. Wyatt. The tout ensemble of St. Paul's 
Church, especially in the dusk of evening, when the lanlps 
,vere lit, 'vas to a hasty glance quite that of a Catholic 
church. Catholics very frequently came in by mistake, and 
sometimes poor people knelt in the aisles and began saying 
their prayers. Others inquired of the sexton at the door if 
it was a Catholic church, and some persons occupying seats 
near the door, who frequently heard his negative response 
and his direction to the Cathedral, were led in consequence 
to think, that if St. Paul's were not a Catholic church, they 
too had best follow the sexton's direction and go to the 
Cathedral. Besides the prayers on saints' days, WednesdaJrs, 
and Fridays, at St. Paul's, there was a ,veek-day com- 
munion service once a month. Dr. Wyatt and his congrega- 
tion were Church people after the type of Bishop Hobart, 
disposed to sympathize in a great measure with Dr. Pusey 
and the Oxford divines, but in great dread of extravagant 
innovation. The parish was very large, and included among 
its 111embers a considerable portion of the élite of Baltimore 
society. Strange as it may seenl, however, outside a certain 
circle of sturdy High Ohurch fanlilies, and especially among 
the more worldly class, there was a prevailing sentiment that 
true spiritual religion flourished more in the 
Iethodist than 
in the Episcopal Church. 
Although the mitred chair stood 
n the chancel, St. Paul's 
""as not the bishop's cathedral, and he was not able to takp 
in it that position and perform those acts which he felt were 
the proper prerogative of a bishop in the principal church 
of the diocese. The bishops of the Episcopal Chlu
ch in this 
country arc all in the same anomalous position, without cathe- 
drals or strictly episcopal churches, in which, according to 
canon law, the see is propei-ly located, having dependent 
parochial churches affiliated to the mother Church. They 
must either be rectors of parochial churches, ,by election of 



nEVe FRANCIS A. DAKEn. 


2õ 


. 


.he vestry, or simple parishionera of one of their o,vn subor- 
dinato presbyters, 'without the right of performing any official 
act, or even.... sitting in the chancel, except on occasions 
of convention, épiscopal visitation, or something of the 
sort. The Bishop of N cw York was even for many years an 
assistant Inini
ter of Trinity Church. Bishop \Vhittingham 
"Was detcnnincd to remedy this evil, as far as possible, by 
establishing a parish, where his proper plaee would be con- 
ceded to hhn voluntarily by the rector and vestry. Accorù- 
ingly the Mount Calvary congregation was formed, and began 
to ,vorship in an old grain-warehouse. There "e had early 
Morning Prayers, and Evening Prayera on every day when 
St. Paul's was closed; and thither might be seen ,vending 
their way, rain or shine, the Bishop ,vith a suite of young 
ecclesiastics, gentlemen and ladiea of the most respectable 
and cultivated class, and nUlnbers of the luore devout people, 
who found a real solace for their souls, amid the trials and 
labors of life, in daily COIDlnon prayer to God. A little after, 
a more select 1'00111 ,vas obtained, decorated ,vith a large 
black cross ill the end window, and finally a church was 
built. 'V e alwa
rs met a great nlany of the Cathedral peo- 
ple, in the morning, going to and frolll 1tlass, and they were 
quite astonished at our pietJ Y . I have since learned that a 
number of them, observing the two young men who seemed 
to thel11 so different fronl Protestants in their wa
ys, began 
praying for us, and that a holy priest, F. Chakert, of St. AI- 
phonsus', ,\ho died a martyr to his zeal in New Orleans, fre- 
quently said 
Iass for our conversion. 
In our frequent 'walks, Frank Baker and Inyself usually, by 
a tacit consent, took the direction of some Catholic church. 
Baltimore surpasses every other large town in the United 
States, except perhaps St. Louis, ill the relative number, and 
in the dignified, in1posing st
yle of its Catholic churches and 
religious institutions. It is a very picturesque and beautifuJ 
city in itself, and one of its most striking features is th
 
2 



26 


ME)IOIR OF 


exterior show of Catholicity ,vhich it presents, froln the COll- 
spicuous position of th
 numerous Catholic edifices which are 
distributed through the principal parts of tbe to'Vl1; often 
crowning the summits of some of the high eminences ,vith 
which it abounds, so that they are distinctly visible in al1 
directions, and their bells resound loudly for a great distånce. 
Some of the Protestant churches also, haying our ecclesias- 
tical style of architecture, and being even surmounted by thf' 
cross, fall into the picture as accessories, and add to the 
Ì111pression "\,rhich a stranger taking a cou]J-d'æilof the city 
would receiyc. The Cathedral, a truly grand building, 
though built in the ]'Ioresco style, and suggesting the idea of 
a great mosque in an oriental city, ,vhich had been converted 
by some conquering crusader into a Christian temple, ,vith 
its great dome and t,vo towers, each of ,,'hich js SUl"l11ounted 
by a gilded cross, queens it majestically over the ,V"ho1e city. 
It has the finest possible situation, on very high ground, "\d th 
a spacious enclosure around it, and a modest, but very appro- 
\ 
priate archiepiscopal residence in the rear of the sanctuary, 
fronting on Charles street, the principal street of the court 
end of the town, a little below the chaste and graceful mon- 
ument of white Inarble erected to the 111e111ory of Wasl1ington. 
Near by, the Redelnptorist Church and Convent' of St. 
Alphonsus, the Cony-cut of the Christi
11 TIrothers, the large 
and beautiful Convent and garden of the Visitation N UIlS, 
the Sisters' Orphan Åsylum, and the little chapel and 
religious house of the colored Sisters of Providence, are 
clustered together "ithin a very moderate area of territory. 
Taking the Cathedral as. a point of departure, you have- ut 
the distance of about half a mile, in the most densely 
peopled part of the to"\v'n, St. 
lary's Church, and the Sem- 
inary of St. Sulpice, with its extensive gardens of III any acres 
ill extent. More to,vard the suburbs, there are the Lazarist 
Church of the Inlmaculate ConCe}!tioll, and the large Sisters' 
IIospital of Mount frope, with its extensive grolmrls. In an 



REV. FR.L.
CIS A. BAKER. 


27 


opposite direction, not far froln the Cathedral, is Loyola Col- 
lege, to ".Lich adjoins the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius; 
beyond these, St. John's, and still further, near the borders 
of the town, the quaint and interesting Sf. James's Church of 
the Redelnptorists, with a Gerillan Conyent of religious ladies. 
In another direction, St. Vincent de Paul's is seen, .with its high 
n1assive tower, and in the same quarter of the to"-I1, the Car- 
melites have a convent and chapel, the Redemptorists another 
large church and convent, called St. 
Iichael's, and there 
is also the large and handsolne parish church of St. Patrick, 
with its high altar of green marble. Follo,,'ing the outer 
circle of the city toward the harbor and fort, and returning 
to a point in line with St. Alphonsus', \\'"e have the Church 
of the IToly Cross, St. Joseph's, and St. Peter's, the latter of 
which has a congregation composed in great measure of con- 
verts. The deep and heavy bell of the Cathedral is repeat- 
edly heard sending forth its booming notes at different hours 
of the day, answ"ered hy St. 1\1phonsus' and St. Vincent 
de Paul's, while the other bells take up the refrain in the 
distance, and the smaller convent Lell
 throw in ii'oln time 
to tinIe, at Angelus, \T espers, or COlnplillC, tlleir silvery, tink- 
ling notes. These Catholic sounds are heard at intervals from 
Incrning till night, and the bells of some of the Protestant 
churches join in also, on many days during the ""\"reek, ringing 
for prayers. The Catholic traditions of Baltimore and 
l\Iar:r land , interwoven ,,-ith their existence from the first; tbe 
mClllory of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, of Archbishops 
Carroll and Eccleston, and of many other distinguishe{l 
)Iarylanders alllong the Catholic clergy, and, lastly, the large 
Catholic population, and the -wealth, education, and social 
position of a large class of the members of the Churcb, w"ho 
have always mingled freely in society and intern1arried ,vith 
Protestants, 
specially those of tbe Episcopal Church-aU 
these and other causes combine to TI1ake tho Catholic religion 
c')nspicuous and powerful in Baltimore, and to keep it ahvaJs 



28 


l.1E1\IOIR OF 


confronting the adherents of other religions, whichever way 
they turn. It cannot be ignored or kept out of sight and 
mind. It Inust be battled with or submitted to. nence, 
Protestantism in Balthnore, alnong the ultra-Protestant sects, 
has borne a character of unusually intense and persistent 
hatred to tbe Catholic Church; and a suppressed spirit of 
violence has pervaded the lower orders, showing itself ordi- 
narily by s1ight insults offered to clergymen and religious, but 
occasionally bursting out in scenes of riot and bloodshed, in 
wbich not merely the rabble took part, but where gentlemen 
\vere also engaged, and men in high stations lent tbeir influ- 
ence and protection to shield and encourage the Iavdess 
violators of the peace. 
A number of tbe Catholic church
 here described have 
been built since the year 1842. The general appearance of 
the city, howe,.er, and the relative nUlnber of Catholic insti- 
tutions, "was the sal11e. It was a very interesting place to me fron1 
its novelty, and very ",veIl known to my new friend and com- 
panion, Frank Baker. 'Ve perambulated the to,vn and recon- 
noitred all its environs, penetrating into every nook and corner 
where there was the slnallest chance of finding something to be 
seen. The Catholic churches underwent a repeated and 
thorough visitation and scrutiny, by turns. An indefinable 
attraction drew us to those sacred places, and l11ade us lin 6 cr 
and loiter in thel11 without ever gro,ving ,yeary. I know 110'V 
what it ,vas. It was tbe po,ver of that Sacred Presence which 
once drew the disciples and the multitudes after it, ,vhen 
visibly seen, and which now attracts the soul by its invisible 
charnl in the Dlessed Sacrament. ""\Ve nßver went to 1tIass or 
to any Catholic seryice, because we were forbidden to do so 
by the bisho-p. "\Ve neyer sought out any Catholic pricsts, or 
encountcrcll any, except t"/
ice by accident. We read no 
Catholic books of controversy or devotion, never knelt to pray 
before the altar, and did not know or suspect where we ,vere 
going. But the influence of grace was acting Dl0St power. 



HEV. FRANCIS A. DAKER. 


29 


fully during those moments in which ,ve were hanging about 
the altar, and unconsciously drinking in its sacreù influence. 
Our fà,
urite place ,vas the chapel of St. 
Iary's College, and 
the Caly[lry behind it, ,vhere the clcrgy of the Snlpitian 
Society are buried. Thi
 is the s"eetest Catholic shrine I 
have eycr visited. The Calvary ,vas not open to visitors, but 
for SOlno reason ,vo "ere never interfered with, although ,ve 
,vent very often, and remained Ly the hour. Perhaps our 
guardian angels knew the future, and led us tbere unJ.vittingly 
to ourselve
. Our Lord foresaw it, if they did not, and ,"vas 
thinking of tbe day ,,,,hen one of the tw.o ,voulll be there in 
company with all the clergy of the diocese in a spiritual 
retreat
 and the day ,,,hen tbe other, in that saIne chapel, 
would be consecrated to the service of the sallctuarJ
.
:- 
]'Iany of those ,vho participated in that retreat .will recall 
the recolleotion of it, on reading these pages. 
Archbishop I{enrick, the sage of our Ålnerican LierarcI1Y 
and one of its saints, that perfect lnodel of a prelate according 
to the ancient type of the purest Catholic times, tbe pattern 
of ecclesiastical learning, cpiscopal ilignity and vigilance, 
apostolic ze
l, sacerdotal gentleness, and Cbristian hnn1ility, 
reminding one of the character ascribed by historians to Pope 
TIenedict XIV., sat at the head of his venerable clergy in the 
sanctuary during all the exercises. Of the clergymen present, 
some had been forty years in the priesthood, and one at least 
was orJained by Archbishop Carron. Some arc now bishops, 
or have modestly declined the offered mitre. I ,vas then a 
priest, and was assisting F. "\Vahvorth in giving the retreat, 
and 
Ir. Baker ,,-as but just receivecl into the Church. lIe 
came to visit Ine at the spot ,,-here we had passed so n1any 
pleasant hours in years gone by, and to pay his respects to 
the excellent Sulpitians by whom his brother had becn edu- 


* Father Baker was ordained sub-deacon and deacon in that chapel, a few days 
before his ordination to the priesthood in the Cathedral. 



30 


ME
rOln OF 


cated, and to the other clergymen ,yhose brother and associate 
he aspired to become in due time. fIe ,vas welcolued 1I10st 
tenderly by the warill-hearteù Sulpitians, and g
eeted with 
an ardent interest and respect by the clergy and young eccle- 
siastics ,vho ,yere gathered in that sacred retreat of science 
and piety. Several of these good clergymen have since 
spoken of that retreat, which so lTIany circu111stances 
combined to make unusually pleasant, as an10ng the most 
cherished recollections of their lives. Since I have been be- 
trayed into this long digression by the associatioüs connected 
with St. Mary's Chapel, I will yenture to add one other little 
incident, of ,vhich I have been several times renlinded by the 
venerable President of 110unt St. 1\fary's College. 
One afternoon, just at sunset, the preacher concluded his 
discourse by a description of the death of a holy priest, con- 
trasting the glory of his successfully accolnplished 11linistry 
with that of the hero in the 111erely secular and temporal order. 
At the peroration, the parting beams of the sun irradiated a 
tall Inarble monument over the grave of a well-kn01vn 
Sulpitian priest, behind the chancel vdndo,y, in full view of 
the audience, but unseen by the preacher, and gave an illus- 
tration of his words most affecting and impressiye to those 
vlho ,vitnessecl it. It was elllblematic, also, of that noble life 
which was to be accomplished and brought to such a beautiful 
close, ,vi thin twelve short 
rears, "My that dear con1panion and 
Ü'iend who was just then on the eve of lea"\Ting all to follow 
Christ, and w'hose generous heart was swelling with the first 
clTIotions of his divine vocation, long since secretly inspired 
into him 'while haunting the blessed resting-place of tbose holy 
priests. Dut I have anticipated ,vhat was yet in the unknown 
and undreamed-of future, when we t,yO ardent and enthusias- 
tic youths were yielding our ilnaginations to the poetic and 
religious charm which was the precursor of 11101'e earnest and 
durable convictions. 
St. Mary's was our favorite resort, but we were also im- 



REV. FRAXCIS A. B
\KER. 


31 


pressed in a different ,yay by the austere and Iuonastic aspect 
of St. J aInes's, ,,
hcre the Redelllptorist :Fathers, then ne\vly 
established, had their cOlnrent; and I remmnber that we often 
conyersed about that order \vith great curiosity and interest. 
"r e ,,"atched intently the building of St. Alphonsus' Church, 
and 'wandered through the" sanctuary and sacristy and gar- 
den, and into the shop ,vhere the lay-brothers and other arti- 
ficers were at work, occasiulutlly, to our gréat delight, greeted 
hy these good brothers, ,vho probably took us for priests, as 
'we were then ordained and dressed in long cassocks, \vith 
their salutation in Gerlnan, Gelout 82Y Jè8ltS Ol
ri8tll8. 
Another object of great interest to us ,vas a n10nument to 
the memory of a fonner pastor, in St. Patrick's Church, bear- 
ing the simple arrd touching inscription: 
'
To THE GOOD DE MORANVILLE." 


This unfeigned tribute of affection to the memory of a gooù 
and holy priest did Inore in a few moments to efface fi
om 
my Inind the effect of the calumnies I had heard from child- 
hood against the Catholic clergy, than a volume of èontro- 
versy could have done. 
1\11'. Daker took me also to visit the lllonument erected to 
Sister Ambrosia by the City of Baltimore. This lady, the 
daughter of the venerable 1\lrs. Collins, w'ho died at the age 
of neady one hundred years, and \vas one of those who wel- 
comed 
Ir. Baker most warmly into the Catholic Church, 
and the sister of tho Very Rev. 1\11'. Conins, of Cincinnati, 
w'as universally regarded as a saint, hoth by Catholics aud 
Protestants. She had been very intimate in Dr. Baker's 
family, and attended his two elder sons during their last 
illness. She fell herself a victim to her charity in attending 
the sick in the hospitals, leaving the s'weet fragrance of her 
sanctity to linger in the memories of those who kne\v her. 
We visited also the graves of those brothers of 111'. Baker 
\vhose death had produced so great a change in his character 


. 



32 


:MEMOIR OF 


and prospects. They were bm'ied in a Methodist gra ve- yard, 
adjoining the beautiful Green 1\1ount Cemetery. Francis 
had erected a marble tombstone to their memory, on which 
"as carved a cross, and the Catholic inscription, Requiescant 
in pace. 'Vhen I returned to Baltinlore, after nlyordination 
to the Catholic priesthood, I revisited the spot, but found tbe 
cross and prayer had been removed. When I had the oppor- 
tunity of asking 
Ir. Baker for an explanation of this, he in- 
formed me that he had removed thelll of his own accord, 
because he thought it an indelicate intrusion on the religious 
-- sentiments and feelings of those to ,vhom the burial-place 
belonged, to leave there a Catholic inscription. 
J\Ieanwhile we were studying and reading regularly. 
Bishop Whittingharl1 had a very fine and extensive library, 
and was constantly supplied with tbe choicest books and 
periodicals of the Anglo-Catholic party. The remarkable 
movement led by Dr. Pusey and 1\11'. N e'VIllan was at its 
height. In this country ""0 were some,vl1at behindhand, and 
were following at some distance in the wake of the lnost 
advanced English leaders, so that the later developnlents 
rather took us by surprise. 'V e ,,"ere reading 1\11'. Newman's 
earlier 'works, and only partly aware of the great change 
taking place ill himself and others. The accusation of 
Romanizing 'was treated as a calumny, and we had no thought 
of any thing except bringing our own Church up to what ,,"e 
thought to be the Catholic level, and endeavoring to estah- 
lish an intercommunion bet\veen it and the Roman and 
Greek Churches through mutual consultation and concession, 
and a return to the supposed state of things "before the sep- 
anltion of East and West." At least this is true of us in 

Iarylanc1, ,,
hatever might have been the case with a small 
number elsewhere. Probably the effort to lnake the Protes- 
tant Episcopal Church take the attitude of being Catholic 
was never made more earnestly and ,vith better hope of suc- 
cess than in 
Iaryland. The bishop headed the movement, 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


33 


and, besides the clergymen already in his diocese '\\ ho were 
ready to second him, he attracted thither a nUlllber of young 
Inen ,,-ho "
ere devoted to hi::; person and ,,,ho sYlllpathized 
in his views. I have no ,vish to speak disrcspcctfully or 
unkindly of Dr. Whittingham. lIe has ah,.ays Leen a most 
violcnt opponcnt of the Catholic Church, and he has secn fit, 
like SOllle others of the clergy of his peculiar stripe, to ùreak 
off aU intercourse with those who have left his comnnmion 
to join it. I do not, ho,vcver, attribute to hÍ1n any }'erso11al 
animosity as the motive for this, but lllerely a mistaken reli- 
gions zeal. lie "
as a1,yays very kind and generons to his 
yonng clergynlen, strict and sclf-denying in his life, and 
laborious in the fulfilment of his official duties. IIis vigorons 
administration infused a new energy and activity into the 
Episcopal Church in his diocese, and gave a powerful Ï111petus 
to "That was called the" Catholic" lllovement. A periodical 
entitled Tlw True OatlLolic, RiformeJ, PJ'otestant, and 
FJ'ee, \"Vas established, undcr the care of IIugh Davey Evans, 
a learned law
yer and ,.ery able theological disputant. A 
college, conducted by young lncn trained at the celebrated 
St. Paul's College, Flushing, by Dr. 
Iuhlenberg, 'was 
founded at a beautiful and extensive old country-seat, known 
as "Fountain Rock," near IIagersto,"Vn, and a school, called 
"St. TiInotllY'S lIan," near Baltimore. The bi:::;hop and a 
large number of his c1crgJ went about dressed in long cas- 
socks; altars, crosses, frequent serviccs, ecclesiastical forms 
and observances, and other outward signs and aecolllpani- 
ments of an approxilllation to Catholic doctrines and !ite
, 
were to be seen every,vhere. The Protestant Episcopal 
Church was loudly proclaimed to be the Catholic Church of 
the country, and, in a word, the theor
r ta
ght in the Oxford 
Tracts and in the earlier writings of 
Ir. K ewman W2.S 
sought to be put in actual practice. An unusual number of 
the clergy 'were unmarried men, and the project of founding 
a lllonastic order was pntertained by several. Those were 
2* 



34 


:!\IEMOIR OF 


stirring times. Of course opposition was excited in the 
bosonl of the E})iscopal Church. The Low Churchnlen 
forlned a strong and active minority in the Convention, and 
did their utmost to tIny-art the projects of the bishop. Very 
spicy debates took place in consequence, and as there ,vere 
very able and distinguished men among the lay delegates, 
,vho brought all their legal skill and forensic eloquence into 
pIa)"'", the sessions of the Convention were often intensely 
interesting and exciting. The pulpit, the newspapers, and 
-controversial pamphlets were elnployed in the warfare by 
both sides, and the comnlunity generally, outside of the 
Episcopal Church, were quite alive with interest in the ques- 
tions discussed. 
We llad a little society called the" Church Reading So- 
ciety," of which Mr. E'rans was president, and 
Ir. Baker and 
myself were members, ,vhere certain prayers for Catholic 
unity were offered, and papers bearing on the topics 'which 
interested us ,vere read by the members in turn. The dif- 
ferent seasons of the ecclesiastical year were very strictly 
obseryed, especially Advent, Cbristnlas, Lent, and IIoly 
Week. The English press ,vas at that time pouring forth a 
stream of books of devotion and sacred poetry, sermons and 
spiritual instructions, borro,ved or imitated from the treasures 
of Catholic sacred literature. There ,vas a tide setting 
strongly l)ackward toward the faith and practice of ancient 
times, and we surrendered ourselves to its influence, \vithout 
thinking ,,?here it would eventually land us. We had 110 
thought of ever leaying the comnlunion to ,yhich we be- 
longed. N ever, in any of our conversations, did we even speak 
of such a thing as possible, or call in question the legitimate 
claim of the authority, under ,vhich ,,?o were 1iving, to our 
obedience. "r e did not sympathize ,vith the bishop and the 
larger number of the clergyulen of our theological party in 
their sentiment of hostility and antipathy to the Roman 
COlTIillUnlon. The common ground taken was that the 



HEV. FRASCIS A. B
\..KEH. 


33 


ROlnan Catholic bishops in England aud the United States 
are schis1l1atical intruders upon tlle Ifnrful jurisdiction of the 
English and .J..t\..nglo-American bishops of the Protestant 
succession. Bishop Whittin
ham lnaintained the stronger 
ground that the TIOlnan Church throughout the "orld ia 
schismatical and all but formally heretical. lie retained thp 
okl spirit of vehement dislike and opposition to the See of 
Rome and every thing in the doctrine and policy of the 
church connected ,vith the Papal supremacy, 'which charac- 
terized the old divines of the Church of England. He had 
in his n1ind an ideal of the primitiye Church, according to 
'which he wished and hoped that a Reformed Catholic Ohurch 
should be reconstructed by the C0I111nOn consent of all the 
bishops of the "rorld, and which should absorb into itself aU 
the Christian sects. This idea is necessarily common to all 
who profess to hold Catholic principles in the .L\.nglican com- 
munion. The profession of the doctrine of unity in one, vié- 
ble, Oatholic Ohurch, of itself qualifies the isolation of any 
body of Christi
ns froln the great Christian family, as an 
anomalous and irregular condition. . A return to unity or 
union of SOllle kind Inust necessarily become an object of 
desire and effort. So long as one lnaintains that the An- 
glican Ohurch is essentially Catholic, he must maintain al:;:o 
that the ROlnan Church is in SOllle way "'-Tong in refusing to 
recognize it, and that the Greek Church is likewise wrong ill 
refusing to do so. Hence he must look on some concessions 
to be made by both Churches as the necessary condition of 
the reunion of Christendom. So far, all who profess to be 
" .Í\.nglo-Catholies" lllust agree. But "Then the question be- 
comes, how much concession Inust be made to the .L\..nglican 
communion, or how much concession must be lnade by her, 
how far the Greek Church, the ROlDan Church, or the An- 
glican Church have erred; and upon "That basis of doctrino 
and ecclesiastical polity they"are to be reformed or restorc<l 
to union, the agreement is ended. Each individual attributes 



:16 


ME1.!OIR OF 


as much or as little error and corruption to other Churches, 
or his own Church, as suits his own notions. Each one, or 
each separate clique, has a peculiar ideal of the true Catholic 
Church. One may regard the Anglican Church as almost 
perfect, and wish to bring all Christendom to imitate it. 
Another finds his beau ideal in the Greek Church. Anothel' 
regards his own Church as very defective, and tbe Roman 
Church as the niost perfect, desiring that the 110ly See should 
only abate just enough of its claims to let in Greeks without 
any a
knowledgment of their schisnlatic contumacy, and An- 
glicans without giving up tbat they are in heresy and desti- 
tute of any legitinlate episcopacy. 
It is impossible to dra,v any exact line of denlarcation be- 
tween tb e adherents of these different views. A.t the same 
time, we Inay say that, in a general sense, one class held the 
Anglican Church as paramount in its claim of allegiance, and 
the Churl:h Catholic as subordinate; while the other held 
the Church Catholic to be par:nnount, and the Anglican 
Church su1,ordinatc. With the first class, Catholic principles 
and doctrines were taken hold of as a means of strengthening 
and exalting the Protestant Episcopal Church as sucll, and 
giving her a victory over the rest of Christendom; with the 
other class, they were embraced in a spirit of deep sympathy 
with universal Christendom, and with the view of bringing 
back the Protestant world to the great Christian family. 
The first class alone can be relied on as devoted adherents 
of Anglicanism, and they only hold a strong polelnical position 
against the claim of the Roman See to unconditional submis- 
sion. The other class have their minds and their hearts open 
to all Catholic influences. They advance continually nearer 
and nearer in belief and sympathy to the great Catholic 
body, and great numbers of them pass over to the Catholic 
communion. lIenee we find that almost all the bishops and 
dignitaries who have joined in the Oxford Inovement haye 
belonged decidedly to the first class, and have always tried to 




 


REV'. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


37 


hold the second class in check. The few who have belonged 
to the second class, such as Bishop I ves and the Archdeacons 
Manning and Wilberforce, have eventually found allegiance 
to the .L\.ng1ican Ohurch incompatible with the paran10unt 
claims of the Church Oatholic, and have openly renounced it. 
But ,,
hile it is cyidcnt that the position of decided and 
deterluined hostility to Rome is absolutely necessary, as Mr. 
Newman long ago relllarked, to IIigh Church Anglicanism, 
it is equally evident that it is the 1110st narrow, inconsistent, 
and inconsequent position taken by any class of Protestants. It 
cuts them off from all real sYlnpathy and comrnunity of feel- 
ing with the great Catholic body; and although there may 
be a pretence of sympathy with the Oriental Church, it is a 
lTIere pretence, and n. most illogical and baseless one. I t cuts 
them off equallJr from all the rest of Protestant Christendom. 
Yet, it is only the Catholic and Greek Churches which offer 
a solid and substantial basis for those doctrinal and hierarchi- 
cal principles which make their only distinctive character; 
and it is only the Protestant portion of their Church, and its 
close intellectual, social, political, n10ral, and religious alli- 
ance with the other Protestant Ohurches, which gives them 
any standing, influence, or power in the world. ..A. Jnan of 
liberal, enlarged, and Christian temper of mind, cannot live in 
such narro\v lÎInits or breathe such a confined air. lIe must 
have com
union with sOlllething greater than the Protestant 
Episcopal Ohurch. If he regards the great Catholic Church 
3S essentially corruþt, he Inust sympathize with the Protest- 
ant Reformation. If the ground which, as I shall presently 
show, the IIigh Ohurch bishops maintain, is con'ect, then the 
continental Protestants were bound to come out ,vhen they 
did and form new churches. 'Vhere were they to get bishops? 
IIow were they to preserve the continuity of organization 
and the apostolic succession 
 The Ohurch of England did 
not adlllonish them of the necessity of doing so. She diù not 
proffer them episcopal ordination. But she made common 


-I" 



38 


:MEMOIR OF 


Or 


cause with them, and supported thelli in their revolt, invited 
them over to England, and gave them places in the English 
Church, sent delegates to their great Calvinistic Synod of 
Dort, and in other ways lent them sanction and countenance, 
without breathing a hint that she was a whit better than 
they. Arguments from Scripture and ancient autbors in favor 
of three orders and a liturgy may be very solid and conclu- 
sive, but they are also very petty and miserable when they 
are made the basis of arrogant claims by those whose very 
existence sprang froIll the assumption that the universal epis- 
copate had betrayed its trust and apostatized from the true 
doctrine of Ohrist. The learned William Palmer has seen 
the necessity of justifying the attitude of the continental 
Protestant Churches, and therefore concedes to them, on the 
plea of necessity, valid ordination and a legitÎ1nate constitu- 
tion. An Anglican, who is a thorough and consistent oppo- 
nent of ROlne, ought to take common ground ,vith Protest- 
ants. One ,vho turns his back on Protestantisln, and abjures 
the Reformation, ought to Inake COlnlllon cause ,vith Rome 
and the Oatholic Church, even though he as yet holds the 
opinion that his cOlnlllunion is a true and living branch of 
the Church of Christ. 
It may seenl strange to those who have never studied or 
sympathized in the Oxford movement, that men "who adopted 
certain fundamental Oatholic principles did not at once em- 
brace the faith and sublnit to the authority of the Oatholic 
Church, but relnained a long time in the Episcopal com- 
lnunion, or even deliberately chose it, after having passed 
their early life in some other Protestant sect. This seenlS 
strange to those ,vho have always been Catholics, and equaHJ 
strange to the majority of Protestants. So much so, that we 
have been suspected, and by nlany ful1y believed to have 
been all along concealed Roman Oatholics, ,vorking in the 
Episcopal Chm'ch for the purpose of "Ronlanizing" it. A 
few days before I was received into the Oatholic Church, a 



REV. FRAKCIS A. BAKER. 


near and venerable relative of mine said to l11e: "I am very 
glad Jon have become a Catholic, for I can respect a sinccre 
TIolTIan Catholic, but I cannot respect a Puseyit0; you ,,'ill 
now sail under your true colors. 'Vllen "ill II. B. (a cousin 
of mine, who is an Episcopalian clergyman) do the same 
thing 
" " 
The truth of the matter is, that ,ve all had imbibed such 
an intense prejudice fronl our early education against the 
Roman Church, that ,,'e w"ere appalled at the thought of join- 
ing her COIDlTInnion. 'Vhen certain Catholic truths began to 
dawn upon our Ininds, it "as indistinctly. To those ,,110 
were bred in the Anglican Church, it ,vas the natural and 
obvious course to renlaill there as long as their consciences 
would permit. To others, it ".as natural to look for a re;:
- 
ing-place in that comnlunion of ,vhich our own particular 
sects ,yere only offshoots, ,vith ,,'hich educated people of Eng- 
lish descent are so familiar through the history and literature 
of our native language, ,,'hose services D1any of us had 
frequently attended ii'om childhood, and "'here n1any of us 
likewise had relatives and friends. I t is a small matter to go 
from one Protestant sect to anotlIcr, in itself considered, and 
it is no ".onder that any orthodox Protestant should prefer 
the Episcopal Church to any of the religious bodies ,,'hich 
have seceded from it. Besides this, there was a via 'lTledict 
offered to us by a great body of divines in the Episcopal 
Church, bet".een Rome on the one hand and Protestantisln 
on the other, which appeared to be exactly the thing "Te 
wanted. I aCh.î1o,vledge that I was too easily allured hy this 
specious pretence, and failed to examine with ùue care the 
claims of the Church in COilllTIUnion .witb the See of Rome to 
be the true and only Church of Ohrist. I do not think 
Ir. 
;!3aker, notwithstanding that his prejudices ,,:-ere far less than 
Inine, ever gave the subject serious and careful consideration, 
until long after he had becolne an Episcopalian n1inister. ,,-.- e 
knew too little, however, of the subjeet, to feel any cODBcien.. 


39 


. 



40 


:MEMOIR OF 


tious obligations in that direction. I can truly say that I 
never for one mOlnent deJiberated on the question of becom- 
ing a Catholic, cyen when I had the fear of death before n1Y 
eyes, until after I left Baltimore in the autumn of 1845. I 
never heard from 1tlr. Baker, up to that time, a word ,vhich 
betrayed the existence in bis mind.of any practical doubt 
about his duty În this respect. The growth of Catholic prin- 
ciples in our n1inds was gradual. By degrees, the mists of 
misrepresentation, prejudice, and ignorance ,vhich obscured 
the Catholic Church and her doctrines were dissipated and 
vanished. Our feelings of veneration and love for the great 
Church uf Ohristendoln increased. Still, as long as ,ve ,yere 
not convinced that actual communion ,vith the Ohurch of 
Rome and submission to her supremacy was necessary, jure 
divino, to the catholicity of any local Church, ,ve relnained 
firm in our allegiance to the ecclesiastical authority of our 
bishop. This is only an instance of what was going on in the 
case of many both in England and the United States. And 
it appears from this statement, that whereas all the disciples 
of the Oxford movement began on essentially the san1e 
ground, and that, one ,vhich implied strong and decisive 
opposition to Rome, one portion of them progressed continu- 
ally, and another remained stationary or retrograded, thus 
producing separation and division in "the ranks. ,Vhat I wish 
to sho,v no,v is, that those "ho progressed "Tere logically 
compelled to do so by the principles of the movement itself! 
and that those ,vho relnained stationary, although they held 
a position which ,vas necessary to the Inaintenance of 
Anglicanism, were illogical and inconsequent. 
The ady"ocates of the clainl of the Church of England to be 
the only legitÏ1nate and Catholic Ohurch in England, and of 
the saIne claÏ1n for the Protestant Episcopal Church in the 
United States, 1\ T ere obliged to lnal\:e out son1e case against 
the bishops of these two countries ","ho ,vere under the juris- 
diction of the Roman See and who proclaimed themselves 


S 6
 

8 > 
"'""d) ..:, 
"\ 
+ 



REV. FR.tNCIS A. BAKER 


41 


to be the only la"Tful and Catholic bishops, sustained as they 
were in this claim by all the other Lishops of Western Chris- 
tendom. The possession of the titles anù telnporalities of the 
ancient sees in England by the Established Ohurch naturally 
suggested the plausible pretext that the Church of England 
of to-day is the legitilnate successor of the Church of England 
before the separation under IIenry VIII. lIence, other 
t)ishops, exercising el)iscopal functions ,vithin the dioceses of the 
bishops of the Ohurch of England, are schislnatical intruders, 
and their congregations are schi3luatical. The saUle princi- 
ple ,vas eÀtellded to the United States, on the pIca that the 
Bishop of London had episcopal juri::;diction over the English 
colonies, and morever that the Protestant Episcopal bishops 
were first on the ground, and had acquired possesssion before 
the "ROlllish" bishops, as they chose to call then), came. 
Now this theory is forced to answer one question: ....\.re the 
bishops of France, Spain, \.
c., the legitimate Catholic bishops 
of those countries, and is their cOJnmuniou the true and only 
Catholic Ohurch there, or not 
 Is this question answered in 
the affinnative 1 Then, ,vho are the Catholic bishops in 
Canada, Louisiana, .L\..laban1a, Florida, Texas, and California 
 
'Vho 1\ T ent first to China and India 
 .L1.re the Anglican 
bishops in these places schismatical intruders or not 1 If not, 
why not? .A.nd if not, ,vhy are ROlnan Oatholic bishops 
schismatical intruders in London and K ew-Y ork 1 The 
Protestant Episcopal Ohurches of England and the United 
States pay no attention whatever to any claim of jurisdiction 
by the Oatholic Church in any part of the world, but seek 
to thrust thenl
elYes in and make converts ,vherever they can. 
In order to justify this attitude, and at thc same time to pro- 
fess Oatholic principles, it is necessary to maintain that the 
entire Roman c01l1lnunion is schismatical anc1 heretical, and 
the Protestant Episcopal Church is the true and only Catholic 
Ohurch, at least in 'Vestern Christendom. This idea is the 
real aninHl8 of the Protestant Episcopate, and its highest ex- 



42 


l\IE:M:OIR OF 


pression is found in the opinion SÇ) C0l11lnon among Protest- 
ants, and held even by 
fr. Ne,vlnan SOlne years after he 
c0l111nenced the Oxford Tracts, that the Pope is Antichrist. 
The charges of the English bishops, especially those delivered 
after the publication of the Oxford Tract No. 90, all breathe 
this spirit. Bishop Elliott, of Georgia, in a serlnon preached 
at the consecration of the lnissionary bishops, Boone and 
Southgate, in St. Peter's Ohurch, Philadelphia, in 1843 or 
, 44, spoke of the Catholic missionaries as "dealing out death 
instead of life" to the heathen. Bishop vVhittinghaln held 
this vie",r, and "Tridentine Schismatic" was one of the 
appellations he gave to the Rev. Dr. 'Vhite, of BaltÍlnore, in 
a palnphlet which he published against that gentleman. In 
his Annual Address for 1846 he speaks of me and other con- 
verts in the following language: "The lapse of several pronl- 
inent members of our English sister, and of one even in our 
own little band, into the defilernents if tlw R01J'
islt con1,m1tnion, 
J:1as but too far justified others in sounding the note of alarm, " 
&c...'f The language he Inadc use of in one of his addresses 
was such, that .l\Ir. Baker, then one of his presbyters, posi- 
tively declined to read it for him in the Convention, his own 
voice being too weak to do so. The Rev. A. O. Ooxe, 1l0'V a 
bishop, published a poem on the occasion of the ordination of 
the present Bishop of Newark to the diaconate, in ROlne, 
entitled" Hymn of the Priests, to lalnel1t one of their number 
who has been sacrilegiously reorc1ained a deacon, (ifter aujur- 
ing tlte Oatltolic c07n7Ju.tnion, at Rome." In contrast ,vith 
this is the following, ,vhich was copied into the Tpue Catholic 
for December, 1843. t 
CO:NVER
10
 OF A POPISH PRIl
3T TO THE Cl\..TllOLIC cnDECn 
AT CI-IICESTER. 
TnE CATliEDRAr
, Sunday, OctoDer 15. 
In residence, the Lord Bishop, the very Rev. the Dean, the Vell. Arch- 
ùeacon 'Vebber, and the Rev. Charles Wetber, can. res. 'Ve have to 


* Journal of Convention of Mar}Tland, 1846, p. 25. 


t P. 383. 



nEVe FRAXCIS A. BAKER. 


43 


recorJ this week one of the most interestìng ceremonies ever performed 
within the walls of this sacred edifice, namely, the public admission of a 
clerical convert from the Church of nome, into the bosom of the IIoly 
Catholic Church in this country. The morning prayerB wero chanted 
by the nev. J. P. Roberts, Sub-dean. Tho Te Deum and Jubilate was Doyce 
in A. ...\.t-the ending of the Litany, the Bishop and the Dean proceeùed 
to the altar, whilo tho choir performed ",Yeldon's Sanctu8
. nfter which 
(the penitent, Mr. 'Vignati, an Italian gentleman, who hag been for two 
ye:us a priest in the Romish Communion, standing without the rails) tho 
bishop addressed the congregation in the follo'wing words :- 
" Dearly beloved, "'0 are here met together for the reconciling of a 
penitent (lately of the Church of Rome) to the Established Church of 
England, as to a true and sound part of CURIST'S IIoly C
ltholic Church. 
Now, that this weighty affair may bave its due effect, let us, in the first 
place, humbly and devoutly pray to Almighty God for his blessing upon 
us in that pious and charitable office we are going about. 
" Prevent us, 0 Loril, in all our doings with Thy Inost gracious favor, 
and further us with Thy continual help, that in this, and all other our 
wor:ks begun, continued, and ended in Thee, we may glorify Thy holy 
name, and finally by Thy Inercy obtain everlasting life, through Jesus 
Christ our Lord. Amen. 
" Almighty Goil, who showest to them that be in error the light of Thy 
truth, to the intent that they may return into the way of righteousness, 
grant unto all them that are or shall be admitte<l into the fellowship of 
Christ's religion, that they may eschew tho::;e things that are contrary to 
their profession, anil follow all such things as are agreeablo to the same, 
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen." 
Then was read a part of the 119th Psalm, from verses 161 to 168, with 
the Gloria Patri. 
After which the dean reaJ the following lesson from Luke xv.:-" Then 
drew near unto him the publicans and sinners for to hear Him; and tho 
Pharisess and Scribes Illurmureù, saying, this man receiveth sinners, and 
eateth with them. ...\.nd he spake this parable unto them, saying, What 
man of you having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, <1oth not 
leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which was 
lost, until he find it? 
t\.nd wben he hath found it he layeth it on his 
shoulders rejoicing; and when he cometh home he calleth together his 
fl'ienùs and hiB neighbors, saying unto them, rejoice with me, for I have 
found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you that likewise joy shall be in 
heaven over one sinner that repentetll, more than over ninety and nino 
just persons who need no repentance." 
After tl1Ïs the nine first verses of the 115tl1 Psalm was sung by the 



44 


MEMOIR OF 


choir. Then the bishop, sitting in his chair, spake to the penitent (who 
was kneeling) as follows :- 
Dear brother, I have good hope that you have well weighed and con- 
sidered with your
elf the great work you are come about before this 
time: but inasmuch as with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, 
and with the :mouth confession is made unto salvation; t]lat you may 
give the more honor to God, and that this present congregation of Christ 
here assembled may also understand your mind and will in these things, 
and that this your declaration may the more confirm you in your good 
resolutions, you shall answer plainly to those questions, which we, in the 
name of God, and of nis Church, shall propose to you touching the 
same. 
Art thou thoroughly persuaded that those books of the Old and New 
Testament, which are received as Canonical Scriptures by this Church, 
contain sufficiently all doctrine requisite and necessary to eternal salva- 
tion through faith in Jesus Christ ?-I am so persuaded. 
Dost thou believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and 
earth 
 &c.-All this I steadfastly believe. 
Art thou truly sorrowful that thon hast not followed the way prescribed 
in these Scriptures for the direction of the faith and practice of a true 
disciple of Christ Jesus ?-I am heartily sorry, and I hope for mercy 
through Christ Jesus. 
Dost thou embrace the truth of the Gospel in the love of it, and stead- 
fastly resolve to live godly, righteosuly, and soberly in this present world, 
all the days of thy life 1-1 do so embrace it, and do so resolve, God being 
my helper. 
Dost thou earnestly desire to be received into the communion of this 
Church, as into a sound part of Christ's Holy Catholic Church ?-This I 
earnestly desire. 
Dost thou renounce aU the errors and superstitions of the present Ro- 
IDish Church, so far as they are come to thy knowledge ?-I do, from my 
heart, renounce them all. 
Dost thou, in particular, renounce the twelve last Articles added in the 
Confession, commonly called '
The Creed of Pope Pius IV.," after having 
read them, and duly considered them ?-I do, upon mature deliberation, 
reject them all, as grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but rather 
repugnant to the "\Y ord of God. 
Wilt thou conform thyself to the Liturgy of the Church of England, as 
by law established, and be diligent in attending the prayers and other 
offices of the Church '?-I will ùo so by the help of God. 
Then the bishop standing, said: "Almighty God, who hath givC'TI you n 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


45 


sense of your errors, and 3. will to do these things, grant also unto you 
the strength and power to perform the same, that lIe may accomplish Ilis 
work, which lie Lath begun in you, through Jesus Christ. Amen." 
TilE .AnsoLuTIOs.-Almigllty God, our Heavenly Father, who, of nis 
great mercy, hath promised forgiveness of sins to all them that 'with 
hearty repentance and true faith turn unto IIim, have n1ercy upon you, 
pardon and delin
r you from all your sins, confirm and strengthen you in 
fill goodness, find bring you to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our 
Lord. Amen. 
Then the bishop: taking him by the hand, said: "I, Ashurst Turner, 
Bishop of Chichester, do, upon this thy solemn profession and earnest re- 
quest, receive thee into t.he !Ioly Communion {)f tbe Church of England, 
in the name of the Father, the Son, and the lIoly Ghost. Amen." 
Then was said the Lord's Prayer, all kneeling, after which as follows :- 
o God of truth and Jove, we bless and magnify Thy holy name for Thy 
great mercy and goodness in bringing this Thy serT'ant into tho com- 
munion of this Church; give him, \\0 beseech Thee, Rtability and perse- 
verance in that faith, of which he hatb, in tbG presence of God and of this 
congregation, witnessed 3. gooò confession. Suffer him not to be moved 
from it by any tempations of Satan, enticements of tbe worId, scoffs of 
irreligious men, or the revilings of those still in error; but guard him by 
Thy grace against all these snares, find make him instrumental in turning 
others from the errors of their ways, to the saving of their souls from 
death, and the covering a multitude of sins. And in Thy good time, 0 
Lord, bring, we pray Thee, into the way of truth all such as have erred 
and are deceived; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to Thy flvck, 
that there may be one flock under ono Shepherd, tbe Lord Jesus Christ, 
to Wbom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, 
worId without end. Amen. 
Then the bishop addressed the person admitted, saying: "Dear bro- 
ther, seeing that you hav(\, by the goodness of God, proceeded thus far, I 
must put you in mind that you take care to go on in that good way into 
which you are entered; and for your estaùIishment and furtllCrance 
therein, that if you have not been confirmed, you endeavor to be so the 
next opportunit:r, and receive the lIò]y Saêrament of the Lord's Supper. 
And may God's Holy Spirit over be with you. Amen. The peace of 
God, which passeth all understanding, keep your heart and mind bJ 
Christ J eSllS. Amen." 
Thus ended this most interesting ceremony; after which the commu- 
ni<?n service went on, at which the bishop and dean officiated. 1Yeldon's 
Sanctlts, B. Brown's Kyrie, and Child's Creed inG. The sermon was 



46 


MEMOIR OF 


preached by the dean, from Luke 15th, c11. 4th, 5th, and 6th verses, of 
which we need not say much here, as we hope it will shortly be pub- 
li."hcd by Mr. W. H. Mason, by permission of the dean, he having been 
requested so to do. Anthem," 0 Lord, our Governor."-Kent.-Ohu1'ch 
In tell igencer. 


The Roman Church is throughout the pages of the True 
Oatholic charged with idolatry, and in one passage "\vhich I 
had n1arked, but cannot now find one reason given why Episco- 
palians cannot. attend Catholic services is, because by so doing 
they participate in idolatry. On the other hand, Protestant 
Ininisters are never required to lnake any such abjuration as 
tho one above cited, on being received into the English 
Church. The Church of England formerly gave .....t\.rchbishop 
Leighton episcopal ordination, he being a Scottish Pre.sby- 
terian minister, and the Crown gave him jurisdiction in Scot- 
land over the Presbyterian clergy and congregations, ,vithout 
requiring any reordination or any ne\v profession of faith. 
So now, a German Lutheran Ininister alternately,vitb an Eng- 
lish Episcopalian, is ordained for tbe Jerusalem bishopric, with 
authority to receive under his care both English and German 
ministers and congregations. 
N o'v for the inconsistency. The saIne reasons which prove 
the Church of Rome to be a schismatical, heretical, and 
apostate Church, prove that the English Church was the same 
before the Reforlnation, and that the Church of Christ had 
perished in Western Christendon1, except as represe
ted by 
the Lollards, Albigenses, Waldenses, and other precursors of 
the Protestants. Thete was really no true, visible Catholic 
Church existing, froln 'which schismatics and heretics had 
separated, and to which they could return. lIence, the 
Illodern Episcopal Church derived its authority frolll no legit- 
ÏInate source in the past, and has really started de novo, like 
the Protestant Churches of Europe. - This throws us back upon 
the theory of an invisible Church at once, and breaks up tbe 
idea of Catholicity. 



REV. FR
\.NCIS A. BAKER. 


47 


For the same reason, the Oriental Churches must be re- 
garded as schismatical and heretical. The N estorians and 
Eutychians are condemned by the Councils of Ephesus and 
Chalcedon, accepted by our Anglicans. The Greek Church is 
identical in doctrine with the Roman, except so far as the 
Papal suprmnacy is rejected by them. It disowns and con- 
dell1Ils the ...\.ng1ican Church as emphatically as does the 
Roman. Nevertheless, ,YO find a nUlllber of tho Protestant 
Lishops subscrib:ng the following letter to tho Patriarch of 
ConstantinoplL :- · 


LETTER TO TIlE GREEK P...\.TRIARCII. 


BINGIIAYTOl'f, N. Y., 1st April, 1844. 
To the Editor of the True Catholic: 
DEAR SIP. :-IIaving seen in print a copy, surreptitiously obtained, of 
the letter of our ùishops, adùressed to some of the Patriarchs in th
 
East, I have thought it might be well to furnish au authentic copy, for 
permanent preservation in your valuablo perodical, especially fiS it is a 
document of much importance. It is precisely as I myself, together with 

rr. Southgate. présented it, accompanied by a Greek tT(tnslation, to the 
Patriarch of Constantinople, who received it ,ery graciously. 
Yours, very trulJ, J. J. ROBEP.TSOY. 


To the Venerable and Right Reverend Father in GOD, tile Patriarcll, 
of tile Greek Ohurch, resident at Oomtantinople. 
JAXUAI:.Y 2, 1541. 
The Episcopal Church of the United States of ....\merica, deriving its 
Episcopal power in regular succession from the holy Apostles, through 
the venerable Church of England, has long contemplated, with great 
spiritual sorro\\r, the divided and distracted conùition of the Catholi(' 
Church of CUP.1ST throughout the world. This saù condition of things 
not only aids the cause of infidelity and irreligion, by furnishing evi1- 
minded men with p!ausiùle argmnents, not only encourages heresies and 
schisms in national branches of the Catholic Church, but is also a very 
serious impediment to the diffusion of Gospel truth among those who 
are still in the darkness of heathenism, or are subject to other false re- 
ligions, or continue ,ainly to look for the coming of that :Mesgiah, whose 
advent has already blessed the \Vorld. 
The arrogant assumptions of nni,ersal Fmnremacy and infallibility, of 



48 


MEMOII{, OF 


the Papal head of the Latin Church, render the prospect of speedy 
friendly intercourse with him dark and discouraging. The Church in 
the United States of America, therefore, looking to the Triune GOD for 
His blessings upon its efforts for unity in the Body of CnRIsT, turns with 
hope to the Patriarch of Constantinople, the spiritual head of the ancient 
and venerable Oriental Church. 
In this Church we have long felt a sincere interest. We have sympa- 
thized with her in the trials and persecution to which she lIas been su1l- 
jected; we have prayed for her deliverance from all evils and mischiefs; 
and we bave thanked her Divine HEAD that He has been pleased. amid 
all her sufferings, to maintain her allegiance to Him. 
In order to attempt the commencement of a friendly and Christian in- 
tercourse with the Oriental Church, the Church in the United States 
resolved to send two of its Presbyters, the Rev. J. J. Robertson, and the 
Rev. Horatio Southgate, to reside at Con
tantinople. These clergymen 
are directed to make inquiries regarding the existing state of the Church 
under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and of the 
other Eastern Churches; to ascertain the relations they bear to each 
other, and the views they maintain in regard to the Apostolic Churches 
of Europe and America; to answer such inquiries as may be made of 
them in regard to the origin, constitution, and condition of the Church 
in the United States; and to do all in their power to conciliate the 
Christian love and regard of the Oriental Church toward its younger 
sister in the Western world. 
After some preliminary inquiries and study of the language, they win 
present themselves, with this epistle of introduction (by which they are 
cordially recoffilnended to the Christian courtesies and kind offices of 
the bishops and clergy of the Oriental Church), to the Patriarch of Con- 
stantinople, inviting ]1Ïm to a friendly correspondence with the heads of 
the Church in the United States, explaining more fully the views and 
objects of the Church, and inquiring whether no mutual recognition of 
eael1 other can be effected, as members of the Catholic Church of Christ, 
on the basis of the Holy Scriptures and the first Councils, including the 
Apostles' and Nicene Creeds, in órder to a future efficient co-operation 
against Paganism, false religion, and J udaisill. 
They will make it clearly understood that their Church has no eccle- 
siastical connection with the followers of Luther and Calvin, and takes 
no part in their plans or operations to diffuse the principles of their sects. 
They will propose to the Patriarch such aid as the Church in the United 
States can supply, in the advancement of Christian education, and in the 
promulgation of religious truth, alwaJ"s avoiding the points in which the 



REV. FRANCIS A. DAKER. 


4
 


two Churches still differ, and leaving the producing of ß closer mutual 
conformity to the blessing of God, on the friendly correspondence of the 
respective beads of the Churches, or to a future General Council. 
Leaving a further clevelopment of these points to tho oral cOllllnunica- 
tions of its delegates, and again recommenùing them to tho Christinn 
canùor nnd affection of the Patriarch nnd clergy of tho Oriental Church, 
and repeating the hearty desire and prayer of the bishops and clergy of 
tho United States for their prosperity, we remain your brethren in 
Christ. 
.ALEXA.NDER VIETS GI:IS\'OLJ>, of the Eastern Diocese, anù 
enior of 
t he American Church. 
BENJAMI
 Tr.EDWELL ONDERDO
ìr, of New York. 
GEORGE WASIIIXGTON DOANE, of New Jersey. 
TrrOMAS CHURcn BROWNEI,L, of Connecticut. 
JACKSOY I\:EMPER, of :Missouri, &c. 
'VILLIAM ROLLixso:y WIIITTINGIIA:\!, of :Maryland. 
HENRY USTICK OXDERDOXK, of Pennsylvania. 


At the recent visit of a Russian squadron to New York, the 
Protestant Bishop of New Y or1
 invited the chaplains of the 
squadron to make use of one of his churches for the service of 
the Greek Church, although the offer was declined. Subse- 
quently, 
 Cossack priest, called Father .A.gapius, said to have 
letters from the .Archbishop of Athens, caIne to N e\v 1.... ork as 
a missionary to the Greeks añd Russians, and ,vas aCC01nn10- 
dated with the use of two Episcopal churches. It came out 
subsequently that he was in bad standing in the Russian 
Church, and the me111bers of the Greek Church in New York 
disowned hiIn, "hen he thre\v off the In ask, and published a 
letter where he a vowed doctrines far from orthodox accord- 
ing to the standards of the Greek Church. Nevertheless, it 
,vas ostensibly as a regular priest of that Church that he ,vas 
inyited to make use of the Episcopal churches; as such the 
members of that church receiyed him, and whatever changes 
or omissions he may have n1ade in his public serviees, they 
were understood to be celebrated according to the ScJavonic 
and Greek Liturgies. Thus, there is no escaping from the 
fact, that High 
Iass according to the same rite used by 
3 



50 


MEMOIR OF 


, 
Oriental Catholics as well as schismatics, was authorized in 
the Episcopal Qhurch in N e,v York, a great number of the 
clergy assisting. 
The English Church bishops, beginning ,vith tlie old Eng- 
lish Nonjurors, have been always anxious for the recognition 
of the Greek prelates, and have made several attempts to 
gain it. 
Soon after nlY ordination as deacon in the Episcopal Church, 
I was invited by Bishop Southgate to accompany him to 
Constantinople on a n1ission of this kind. The plan was to 
have a little ecclesiastic>al establishillent in Constantinople, 
consisting of a bishop and a few priests and deacons. Al- 
though the bishop, ,vho had been for some years a travelling 
missionary in the East, was nlarried, he ,vished his clergy to 
be unmarried m.en, and selected only such as his associates. 
There was to be a chapel, where all the rites and eeremonies 
permitted by Anglican law were to be celebrated with as 
much pomp as possible. Serillons in the Orientallanguages
 
designed to attract the clergy and lnake a good inlpression of 
our orthodoxy, were to be preached regularly. A college and 
seminary for the instruction of young Oriental ecclesiastics 
,vere to be opened, with a strict understanding that they were 
not to be induced to leave their Ol\Tn cOffilllunioll. Extracts 
from the ",vorks of the Greek Fathers, and translations fronl 
Anglican divinès, ",v ere to be published, with a vie",v to bring 
about mutual understanding and agreenlent bet,veen the dif:' 
ferent Churches. Every thing ,\ras to be done to propitiate 
the Oriental prelates and clergy, and to bring about their 
recognition of our ecclesiastical legitimacy, and intercom- 
rnunion bet,veen thenlselves and us. The J\Iissionary C0111- 
mittee, who ,,"'ere hostile to this plan, would not confirln Iny 
appointment, regarding me as having too strong a Catholic 
Lias to be trusted. Another young deacon was selected ill 
my place, who had been known as a strong Puseyite, but 
who publicly renolIDced his opinions before he left the coun- 



TIEY. FRAXCIS _\. TI.\KER. 


51 


try, in a scrlnon, in ,,'hieh he came out PS a strong E, angeli- 
cal. Tbe mission was never ,yell supported, 1ut after a 
fe\v years, fell through entirely, and the bishop is no\v a 
parish rector in N ew l
 ork. During a viÛt to K ew York, 
"9hich I lllade in company ,vith TIishops'Vbittinghanl anù 
Routhgate, at tbe time I "as expecting to accolllpany the 
latter on his mission, I called on a ypry distinguished and 
learned presbyter, who was one of the ablest and most infiu- 
entialleaders of the Oxforù Ino"
ement. lIe asked n1e if we 
proposed to endeavor to change the doctrine.s of the Greek 
Church. I replied, that certainly we did propose to discu:3;; 
several of these doctrines with the Greek prelates, and show' 
thern that they "Were not doctrines appertaining to the Catho- 
lic faith, but errors and additions made ,yithout authority. 
He inquired what these doctrines 'Were. I cannot rccollect 
how many I specified, but I filll sure that the doctrine 
respecting the cultu::; of the Blessed Virgin and saints ,,-as 
the principal one. lIe replied that the doctrines I specified 
,vere established by just as good authority as any others, and 
that it woulù be impossible for us to convict the Greek 
Church of holdi:p.g any erroneous doctrine. Ilis arguments 
made a great ÎInpression on my lllind at the time, and helpe<.l 
me forlrard to"\,ard the Catholic Church, although this gell- 
tlelnan hÍ1nself remained alw"ays a Protestant. 
The efforts made to cultivate the friendship of the Greek 
Church are ,cry significant. Let it be observed, that the 
bishops "who signed the letter to the Patriarch of Constan- 
tinople, both distincGy repudiate the Reformation of Luther 
arid Calvin, and consent to waive all questions of difference 
between the Greek and the Protestant Episcopal Ohurches,. 
Lmtil tìH:
y can be decided by a General Oo
{ncil. This re- 
duces the g'l'ava'men of the charges against Rome to the only 
point of difference which exists between herself and the 
Greel\: Cburch; that is, to the claim of suprelnacy of the 
Roman Pontiff. This is, tLen, the sum and substance of the 


.. 



52 


:MEMOIR OF 


" defilernents of tlte ROlnish COlnlnunion." Here lies the ,vhole 
caSlt8 belli between the ehalnpions of Anglicanism and the 
Catho1ic Church. There is no hope of reconciliation on 
equal terms with the See of Rome and her vast cornmunion. 
Therefore, a rival claÍl'n of Catholicity must be set up, and 
supported by every possible charge that can be lnade to tell 
against the lnighty Church ,vhose J3ishop claÌIns the dignity 
and authority of successor to the Prince of the Apostles. 
lIenee the odious nalnes of "Roman Schism," "Rolnanist," 
"Romisb" "Tridentine Schism "Po p er y " '
PO I )ish" and 
, ", 
all the other party catch-\vords of corruption in doctrine, 
bondage, tyranny, idolatry, etc., ,vhich are studiously em- 
ployed, in order to throw dust in the eyes of the sin1ple and 
un,vary. Hence the effort to appropriate the name of Catho- 
lic, and to use all the phraseology associated with it, in con- 
nection with the Protëst.ant Episcopal communion. Rome 
win not abate one jot or tittle ùf her divine rights, or of the 
Catholic doctrine of which she is the principal bulwark; and 
she will not treat the Church of England as a branch of the 
Christian Church. Therefore a rival must be set up against 
her, backed by the po,ver and the prestige of the English 
name, and, if possible, also by those of the mighty Russian 
Elnpire and the ancient Eastern Church. The N onjurors 
proposed to tbe Eastern prelates sitting in the Synod of 
Bethlehelll, a plan for combining against Rome under an 
ecclesiastical organization whose head should be the Patriarch 
of J erusalen1. It was scornfully rejected, together with all their 
other overtures. No doubt, if the Church of England and 
the Episcopal Ohurch of the United States could make a 
cOlllhination with the Greek Church, on the basis of the 
Oriental standards of doctrine, it would be the most formid- 
able rival possible to the Catholic Church. But such a union 
is impossible. The Providence of God does not pern1Ït 
heresy and schislTI to aSSUlTIe the attibtlde of Catholicity, but 
cOlnpels them to manifest their true character by disintegra- 



REV". FRAXCIS A. BAKER. 


5 0 
i) 


bon. .And here lics another lllark of the inconsistency of the 
theory of those ,,-ho set up this claÍ1n of riyal Catholicity 
against I
on1e. The Protcstant Episcopal Churches, as 
such, do not sanction and assert in their pu1lic and otlieial 
action the claim lllade for thcln by a certain portion of their 
Ineu1bers. The uÍlnost that can ùe said of them is, that they 
affirm and exact episcopal ordination as requi:::ite to a com- 
plete conformity to the polity established by the Apostles. 
They do not, however, a
sert, or require their clergy to 1e- 
lieve, the necessity of apostolic succes
ion to the being of a 
Church. Their standards are so ccnstructed as to afford a 
shelter and a ,varrant to those who hold this and 
everal 
other Catholic doctrines and principlcs. These doctrines are 
not, ho,,
ever, officially put for\vard as a tern1 of cOlnmunion, 
or a condition for ordination. The oflicial doctrine of a Church 
is limited to that .which it exacts by authority and nnder 
penalty of its teachers to hold and profess. It comes dow.n 
to the lo\yest level of doctrine ,,
hich its teachers can hold, 
and still be reputed sound and orthodox clergymen. Now 
a very lo\v Protestantisln is all that even Iligh Church 
bishops can exact fronl candiùates for the priesthood or thQ 

piscopacy. " 
nglo-Catholic
' doctrine is nothiug but the 
tolerated opinion of a certain party. Thcrefore, on these 
" ..I.'lnglo-Catholic" principles, and according to the doctrine 
and decisions of the Greek Church, the Protestant Episcopal 
Church is schisnlatical and heretical, because she enforces 
nothing by her authority beyond Protestantism, which is 
heresy according to that standard of doctrine \vhich ,vas uni- 
versally acknowledged before the "separation of the East 
and 'Vest," and accepted both by Greeks and "...1.nglo- 
Catholics." ...:\.ccording to those principles, then, which ,voulc1 
condeilln the ROlnan Church of heresy and schisln, all Epi::;co- 
pal Churches in the world have fallen a\vay fi'oln the unity 
of faith established by our Lord, and the Catholic Church 
exists no n10re. lIence, even an "Anglo-Catholic," if he 


...J 



54 


1\IEJ\IOIR OF 


,vould not be driven into the arll1S of pure Protestantism, 
and consort with those followers of Luther and Calvin ,vho 
are disowned by Bishop Grisw'old and his associates, are 
forced to make conlll10n cause with ROll1e and her Catholic 
comll1unlon. 
The progressive portion of those W"110 were engaged in 
the Oxford movelnent saw and felt all this, and, therefbre, in 
a strict consistency with their Catholic principles, and by a 
logical necessity, they advanced in a Romeward direction. 
It has been necessary to Inake this long explanation in order 
to show ho,v matters stood at the time ,yhen 1tír. Baker and 
lnyself were connected with the ecclesiastical movement in 
Balthnore, under Bishop 1Vhittinghall1. The Oxford move- 
lnent was then ten years old. The celebrated Kinetieth 
Tract, in which 
rr. N e,vman took .the ground that several 
ROlnan doglnas were permitted by the Thirty-nine ..Articles, 
and that the .Articles were to ùe eXplained according to the 
Catholic sense of the general body of the Universal Church, 
had been some tÎ1ne published, and the controversy excited 
by it ,vas nearly completed. }'Ir. Newman ,vas about resign- 
ing St. }'Iary's, and soon after went into retirement at Little- 
more. A great nUlnber of the ablest writers of his party 
had advanced very far bCJond the position taken by the 
earlier Oxford Tracts, and by PalIner, Percival, l{eble, and 
others, at the outset. In the United States, the ordination of 
the Rev. Arthur Carey had taken place, under _ circumstances 
of the ll10st pecu1iar character, ,vhich deserve a passing notice. 
Arthur Carey 'vas a young student of the N ew York Theo-. 
logical Smninary, barely t,venty years of age, of an English 
family, and descended froln several bishops of the English 
Church. lIe was a youth of rare intellectual gifts and ac- 
quirelnents, as well as of the most gentle and lovely charac- 
ter. Bishop 1Vhittingham, ,vho had been his preceptor, said 
that he possessed the wisdom of a man of fifty. In some ,yay, 
the suspicions of a number of the prIncipal Low Church rec- 


. 


"- 


. I 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


55 


torö had been excited in regard to hiln, and he ,vas subjected to 
a In05t rigorous exaulination for orders, in .which he Inani- 
festcll his profound theolugical science and his brilliant parts, 
together ,vith a luagnanimity of spirit which ,von for hiln a 
,vide-spread admiration, espeeially alllong all Iligh Church 
Episcopalians. In the course of his exanlination, hè Rvow.od 
the n1ü
t advanred opinions of the ()xford party, and ex- 
presseJ his belief in the bound orthodoxy of the deerees of 
the Council of Trent. lIe 'was violently attacked by some 
Inelnbers of the exanlining COlIlluittee, and defended by othors, 
the lnajority finally recommending hilll for ordination. 
Bishop Onderùonk detern1ined to ordain hiIn, and ,vas pro- 
ceeding in the ceremony of ordination, ,vhen he ,vas inter- 
rupted by two doctors of di vinitJT in gO"Tl1S, ,vho publicly 
protested against the órdination, and then left the church. 
Bishop 'Yhittinghalll urged hhn very strongly, after his 01'- 
dinatioI1, to COlliE' to his diocese, which he declined doing. 
About thi
 tillie, I read, in lnanuscript, a beautiful philosophi- 
cal essay on Transubstantiation, ,vhieh he "Tote, according to 
the systeln of Leibniz, proving the futility of aU the rational 
argtunents urged 
gainst it. The cirCulnstances of his ordina- 
tion made hÍ1n sudJenly falnous. lIe .was assistant minister 
to Dr. Seabm
y, at the Church of the Annunciation, and 
every Sunday his sennons were reported for the secular 
papers, with minute accounts of his appearance, and all his. 
sayings and doings. This publicity was insufferable to him; 
and in a letter of his, ,vhich. I saw., he said that it 
made life a burden to him. Iris constitution was ex- 
tremely delicate, and weakened by close application to 
study. He ,vas a boy in years, and unable to breast the 
moral shock which he had received. lie speedily sank into 
a decline, and died at sea, off the 1\loro of IIavana, whither 
he had been sent for the benefit of his health, his body being 
committed to the deep by his fellow-passengers, who were all 
strangers to him, and one of whom read the Burial Service 


- 



56 


MEMOIR OJ!' 


) 


over his relnains. For a long time afterward, his poor father 
might be seen every day standing on the Battery, and gazing 
,vistfully out to sea, with lllournful thoughts, longing after 
the son whom he had lost. There is something in the history of 
Arthur Carey assimilating it to that of Richard IIurrell 
Froude. Each of them, in his sphere, did more than any 
other to arrest the anti-Roman tendency of the Oxford move- 
ment, and give it a Romeward direction. In }Ir. Carey's 
instance, it ,yas not the mere effect of his own personal avowal 
of holding Roman doctrine, but the protection given him in 
doing so by the bishop of the principal diocese, the direc- 
tors of the General Seminary, and a large number of other 
bishops and clergymen, which was significant. It was this 
which led to the persecution of Bishop Onderdonk; and it was 
believed that a plan ,vas on foot for sÏInilar attacks on the 
other bishops who ,vere regarded as Puseyites. 
The reader of these pages can no,v understand something 
of the nature of those stirring and exciting times in the eccle- 
siastical world in which MI
 Baker began his career, and of 
the events and questions about which ,ve were daily convers- 
ing together. Bishop Whittingham approved of the principle 
of interpreting the Articles laid down in the Ninetieth Tract. 
On this principle, I gave my assent to them at my examination 
for orders, and could not other"wise have assented to thenl with 
a safe conscience. The ordination of Mr. Carey opened the 
way for us to go forward to the full extent of holding all the 
doctrines of the Council of Trent. The current of Oxford 
thought and Jiterature was sweeping us in that direction. We 
had full access to it, and felt its power, although, as I have 
said, we were a good deal behind the movement, and igno- 
rant of In any things which were taking place in England. :1\11'. 
Baker ,vas far in advance of me at the tÏ1ne our friendßhip 
began. lie never had that feeling of hostility to the ROlllan 
Church with ,vhich so many "ere filled. Iris early education, 
and the kno,vledge he had of Catholicity and of the Catholic 



REV. FRAXCIS A. BAKER. 


57 


clergy and laity in Baltimore, preserved hiln from that strong 
prejudice ,vhich I retained froIH the impres
iolls of childhood, 
and ,rhich he aided lUO greatly to ovcrCOlue. K either of us 
ever looked on tho ROlnall cOlnmunion as heretical, schismat- 
ieaI, or e
sentially corrupt. \V" 0 adopted, at first, the preva- 
lent idea that it ,,-as in a schislnatical position ill England, 
and in those parts of tho United States ,yhere ,vo supposed 
the Protestant Episcopal Church had prior possc:;:.sion. We 
dropped this notion, ho,vever, after a while; and I remelnber 
,yell that it ,vas a fì.iend of ours, ,,-110 was then and is now' a 
lllinister of the Episcopal Church, who drove it finally out of 
IllY head by solid and unanswerable arguillents. "\Ve could 
not agree with tbe bishop and his party in their anti-Roman 
sentilnents, and di
liked the o:flcn
ivo llse of the terI11S 
" ROllli
h" and "Romanist." 'Ve regarded tbo Catholic 
Church as cOInposed of three great branches-the Latin, 
Greek, and Anglican-unhappily estranged froln each other, 
and all l11oro or less to bItnne for the separation. "\V c did not 
believc in the suprelnacy of the Pope, in the full Catholic 
sense, as constituting the e
:-:ential principle of Catholic ul1it
r, 
or that cOInlnunion ,yith the 1101y See ,yas necessary to the 
very being of a Church. "T ü did, however, COlne to believc 
by degrees in a certain PriInacy, partly divine and partly ec- 
clesiastical, as necessary to order, and th
 means of preserv- 
ing intercommunion awong all bishops \Vhat ,ve regarded 
fiS errors in Roman doctrine, we looked upon as mueh less 
fundalnental than those Protestant errors ,,'hich pervaded so 
extensively our own Church; "Te considered theln much in tho 
same light ,vith ,vhich Bishop Griswold and his brethren re- 
garded the peculiar doctrines of the Greek Church, as matters 
to be tolerated, until all branches of the Church could meet 
in a general council and make a final decision upon all con- 
troversies. Considering the divided and anolnalous state of 
Ohristendom, we thought that both the Roman and Anglican 
 
bishops had an equally legitimate jurisdiction over their con- 
3* 



58 


:MEMOIR OF 


gregations, and that we ","'ere alike Catholics, and in real com.. 
munion ,vith the Universal Church of all ages and nations. 
We thought it to be the duty of each one to remain in the 
con1111union ,vhere he had been baptized or ordained, .and 
would have dissuaded any Episcopalian from joining the Ro- 
man cOInmunion, or any Roman Catholic frolll joining ours. 
I remember, one evening, after hearing an account given ,vith 
great glee by a young Inan of the perversion of a Catholic, that 
Mr. Baker said, after the person in question had gone, ""\Vhat 
.a miserable story that was which 1.1- just related I" In my 
o,vn little parish, there was an Iri8h servant-girl, 'VhOlll I In ar- 
ried to a young Englishman, my parishioner. I had no scruple 
in doing this, not reflecting that I ,vas the occasion of the girl 
cOInmitting a sin against her o\vn conscience. Rut when her 
mistress expressed great hopes of her con1ing over to our 
Church, and I began to think she might apply to me for con- 
firn1ation, I carefully avòided encouraging the plan, and con- 
sidered seriously what I ought to do if any such case should 
ads9. Very strangely and inconsistently, Bishop "\Vhittinghan1 
used to confirm the occasional perverts tbat fell in his way, 
al thoug.h they had recei veù Catholic confirInation. And this in- 
creased my difficulty. :For I regarded an act of that kind as a 
sacrilege, and could not have been a palty to it in any case, 
unless I had thought it right, according to 111Y overstrained 
notions of obedience, to t%w the ,vhole responsibility on the 
bishop. As I have often said, "we never entertained the thought 
of leaving our own Churcb. The conversation of those ,vho 
talked doubtfnlly on this point was always most disagreeable 
to us both, although it was only in one or two instances that w.e 
tell in \vith any such persons. 
Toward our o,vn bishop we were strictly obedient. IIis 
violent antipathy to Rome and strong Anglican party spirit, 
joined with a tÏ1nid, politic course of aetion toward the Low 
. Church, ultra-Protestant party, prevented our giving hin1 
full and unreserved confidence. :ThIr. Baker had seldom tbe 



REV. FRANCIS A. llAKEH. 


59 


occaSIon of conversing much with him. I \vas, however, 
constantly in his fanlily, and very 111uch in his society. I 
confided in hÏ1n as a nlan of integrity, a sincere and generous 
friend, and a just and kind superior. TIut, from the first, 
there ,vas a barrier ,vhich I had not expected to full and un- 
reserved confidence, and a feeling that there "as a 
ecret 
and fUlldaln
ntal difference in our apprehension of the idem
 
'which are contained in the forms of Catholic language. 1 
have since discovered \vhat this dilterence ,vas, and I see llO\\? 
that he really believed in an invisible, ide
l Catholic Church 
only, and in no other out\\ard, visible unity, exc
pt that which 
is cOlnpleted in a single bishop and congregation. This explains 
a relnark luade at that thne by Iny father, ,vho is thoroughly 
acquainted váth the Protestant theology, on one of the bishop'8 
essays; that, except his doctrine of three orders,in the ministr
r 
 
he was a pure Congregationalist. 
Ir. N e\VTIlan, also, helll 
the same view, until quite a late period in his Anglican 
life, as appears from his ,. A-\..pologia." In Bishop Whitting-- 
haITI'S own eyes, he was hinlself the equi valent of the 'vholp 
Catholic episcopate. Consequently, "That he and his col- 
leagues and pre,decessors in the Anglican Church had decreed 
had fun Catholic authority, and was just as final and authori- 
tative as if the 'whole ,yorld had taken part in it. lIenee 
tbe assertion of a despotic, exclusive authority of the Angli- 
can Church, concentrated in his person, over everyone ,vho 
acknowledged his jurisdiction. He ,vould. not permit us to 
attend any Catholic services, or read any Catholic books, as 
an ordinary thing. I read the tract of N atalis Alexander 
on tbe Eucharist, and the Life of St. Francis of Sales, in his 
library, before he made his prohibition. After".ard, he ga,e 
lne himself a ,volume of Tirinus's COl1uTIentary on the Il01y 
Scriptùres; and these were the only Catholic books I read 
\vhile I ,vas in his family. I was ,ery anxious to read !Iöh- 
1er's ". Symbolism," but I did not; nor did I read Ward's 
" Ideal of a. Christian Church;" because he desired Iue not 



60 


:MEMOIR OF 


to do so. I even gave up using approved Anglican books of 
devotion in church, because he expressed his disapprobation 
of using any other book but the" Common Prayer." 1\11'. 
Baker was equally obedient with luyself at that tilne; 
although afterw'ard, ,vhen he was governed more by com- 
mon-sense and a just sentiment of his own rights, he read 
whatever he thought proper. It was Anglican books ,vhich 
brought us on,vard to,vard the Catholic Church, and the 
attempt to live up to and carry out Anglo-Catholic prin- 
ciples. Those ,vho are familiar ,vith the Anglo-Catholic 
movement will understand at once what these principles and 
doctrines ,vere. But for the infornlation of others it may be 
l)roper to state them distinctly, as they were understood by 
}Ir. Baker, and others like him, who approximated more or 
less toward the Catholic Cllurch, whether they eventually 
joined her communion or not: 
1. The visible unity of the Catholic Church. 
2. The final authority of the Church in deciding doctrine, 
and the authority of General Councils. 
3. The necessity of an Apostolic Succession, and the divine 
institution of the episcopate. 
4. Baptismal Regeneration and Sacralnental Grace. 
5. The strictly sacerdotal character of the priesthood, in- 
eluding the power of consecrating, and of absolution. 
6. The Real Presence in the Eucharist. 
7. The sacrificial character of the Eucharist. 
8. The propriety of praying for the dead. 
9. The merit of voluntary chastity, povertJT, and obedience, 
and of penitential works. 
10. The value of ceremonies in religion, and the sanctitJ Y 
of holy places and holy things. 
However certain persons may modify and explain certain 
of these doctrines, no one can deny that the general drift of 
the writings of the Oxford or Anglo-Catholic school, together 
with that of the writings of the ancient Fathers and of the 



REV. FRANCIS J\. BAKEH. 


61 


earlier Eng
ísh di,ines ,vhich are translated or rcpu1lished 
by them, ,vas to create and strengthen a belief in the
e doc- 
trines. They were allo,ved to be tenable ,vithout infidelity to 
the Anglican Church, by persons in authority and others, 'who 
,vere thenlselvcs lower and lllore Protestant in their opinions. 
N o\V, I will take for a mOlllent the l)osition of an Anglo- 
Catholic, and, upon the basis of the l)rinciples I have just 
enunciated, I will prove tbat an attitude of hostility to the 
Roman Church is wrong and absurd, and that the only con- 
sistent anel tenable ground is that now taken by the Union 
ists, represented by the Union Revie
l). 
" The Latin, Greek, and Anglican branches of the Catholic 
Church constitute but One Visible Church, though their 
unity is iInpaired and'in part interrupted by mutual estrange- 
ment. As a member of the .L\.nglican Church, I look upon 
the Greek Church as essentially Bound and orthodox, and, if 
allowed to do so, ,vould wish to receive tho sacraments, or, if 
a clergj"IDan, to officiate as such, in the chlu'ches of that Rite, 
if' 1- happened to be in a place where it was established. I 
look upon the Latin Church, whose doctrine is the same with 
that of the Greek Church, ,vith the single exception of the 
Papal Supremacy, in precisely the same light. Whatever I 
Inay think of the extent of power claimed by the Bishop of 
Rome, I must allow that, in a state of perfect intercommu- 
nion between all parts of the Church, the cbief place in the 
Catholic hierarchy and the right of presidency in a general 
council belong to him. It is IllOst desirable that the Greek 
and Anglican Churches should be restored again to commu- 
nion with the Roman Church, and all controversies respect- 
ing doctrine be definitely settled. 1\Ieanwhilo, the spirit of 
charity ought to be cultivated, and all possible means taken 
to remove prejudice and lnisunderstanding. In the present 
state of confu:,ion and irregularity, the ancient canons re- 
specting one bishop in a city cannot be considered as binding; 
and therefore Roman, Greek, and ..A..nglican congregations, 



62 


:MEl\IOIR OF 


formed under the authority of bishops who are in reglùar 
comnlunion with thcir own branch, are equally legitimate 
and Catholic, \vherever they may be. The decisions of the 
particular national synods of the Anglican branch have no 
final authority, and are only binding so far as they declare 
the doctrines of the Universal Church. They are to be in- 
terpreted in the' Catholic sense,' and are strictly obligatory 
only on those who have made a promise to maintain them, 
and upon those only in the sense in which they are ÏInposed 
. by authority, under censure. It is the Catholic Church, and 
not the Church of England or the Protestant Episcopal Church 
of the United States, of which I am a lIlenlber by baptism, 
and therefore I have no duties to either of those ecclesiastical 
organizations, except such as arise out of their relation to the 
great Catholic body, and are compatible with the absolute 
allegiance I owe to its teaching and law's." 
Such I conceive to be a statement of the only vie\v an An-. 
glican can consistently take, unless he plants hinlself upon 
the conlmon Protestant ground. According to this, it is 
ridiculous for him to abstain from going to Catholic services, 
reading Catholic books, and clùtivating the acquaintance of 
Catholic clergymen and lay-people. The pretence of depos- 
ing or degrading clergymen, because they pass to the commu- 
nion of Rome, is an absurd and impotent attempt at retalia- 
tion. "\Vhat sin can there be in going froln St. Paul's Church, 
where the 
Iass is in English, celebrated by a priest of the 
Anglican Rite, under the obedience of the Catholic Bishop 
\Vhittingham, to the Cathedra1, where the :ß;Iass is in Latin, 
celebrated by a priest of the Latin Rite, under the obedience 
of" the Catholic Archbishop Spalding 
 IIow can there l)e 
the guilt of apostasy involved i
 such an act 
 I-Iow can a 
person" abjure the Oatholic COlnnlunion" at ROlne, by join- 
ing that "\\Thich is confessedly the principal branch of the 
Catholic Church 
 
A person who be1ieves in this theory of branches Inay say 



REV. FHANCIS A. BAKEn 


63 


it is ille
1?edient and u1Hyise for individuals to leave their 
particular connection, that it perpetuates the estrangement, 
and that it is better to ,vait for the tÎlne when the "English 
TIrnnch " "ill be reunited boùily to the parent tree. They 
cannot pretend, ho,,'cyer, that this is any thing n10re thnn a 
matter of private opinion. The only legitÎ1nate 1ncans they 
havc for kceping their adherents fron1 leaving thc1n arc argu- 
lIH:nt and per
uasion. It avails nothing to say that if free 
access to R01nan Catholic ser,-ices and booI
s, and, in general, 
frec intercourse with us is per1nitted, and the charge of'schism, 
violation of baptisn1al or ordination ubligations, &c., is aban- 
doned, we shall gain over a great nUluhcr of their n1en1bers. 
W11at of that? Thosc ,vho adopt a theory arc ùound to ad- 
here to it. If this Anglo-Catholic theory has any thing in i:-, 
it O"Clght to be able to sustain the shock of a 
ollision. W c 
have nothing but argument and persuasion on OlU
 side. \rIIY 
should their influence ùe dreaded 
 If Catholic l)loinciples, 
sympathies, and practices gravitate to,,'ard Rome, let then1 
gravitate; it is a sign that the ccntre of gravity is there. 
That the Oxford mo"\e1nent did gravitate toward Rome by 
its original forcc is a plain fact, proved by the number, the 
character, and the acts of those ",-ho llave become converts to 
the Catholic Church. Not that their testimony is a direct 
proof that the Catholic Church i
 divine and infallible. This 
rests on cxtrinsic,objcctive evidence. But it is a direct proof 
that the pretence of the Catholicity of the Anglic
n COilllTIU- 
nion cannot furnish full and complete satisfaction to consci- 
entious minds that have imbibed Catholic principles. It pro- 
fessed to do so; but it has failed. Those 'who still cling to 
it cannot deny that the dissen1ination of their views generally 
produces in those ,vho en1brace them, at some period of their 
IT.I)ental history, a deep misgiving respecting the safety of their 
position. This is not so in the Catholic Church. Catholics, 
who retain a firm faith in the principles of Catholicity, and 
endeavor to obey their consciences, never have a n1isgiving 


, 



64 


:ME
IOIR OF 


that they are out of the Church, or that there is any other 
Ohurch ,vhich ha::; a better claim to be regarded as the Catho- 
lic Church. If human reason has any certitude, if the human 
mind is governed by any fixed laws, if the concurrent judg- 
lnellts and convictions of great numbers of the wisest and best 
men have any value, if there is any such thing as logic, these 
considerations ought to have weight. 
But I am ,yeary of chasing this Protean phantom of 
Anglo-Catholicism through its shifting disguises, and its laby- 
rinthine mazes. And I gladly return to the theme of my 
"llarrati ve. 
Francis Baker ,vas ordained deacon on the 16th of Febru- 
ary, 1845, and in the following August was appointed assist- 
ant Inini
ter of St. Paul's Church. During the interval he 
was performing occasional duty in assisting the rectors of 
different parishes in Baltimore, under the bishop's direction. 
His .first sermon J;vas preached in St. Paul's Church, BaltiInore, 
on the Sunday afternoon of his ordination day, which ,vas 
the Second Sunday of Lent. On the evening of the same day 
he preached at St. Peter's. His text was taken from the 
I. Epist. John, iv. 4: "And tltis is the victory ilLat oveTco'lnetlt tlte 
w01"ld, even our faitlt." It was a beautiful sermon, and per- 
fectly Catholic in its dvctrine and tone. I regret that it is not 
extant, for I think that if it were, it ,,'"ould be ,vorthyof a 
place among tJJ.e serrnons published in this volume. In it he 
extolled a life of yirginity in glowing language, as the means 
of a closer union ,vith Christ; and its whole scope was to 
pres
nt the lives of those who have renounced the world, as 
models of the highest Christian perfection. I read prayers 
for him that evening, and we walked home afterward 
together. 1Ve separated in silence, neither of us expressing 
his thoughts, but both seeming to feël a kind of blank and 
ulnyilling sense of disappointment, as if ditnly conscious that 
our Catholicity ,vas an unreal and Í1naginary thing. At St. 
Paul's Church his eloquence took the congregation completely 



REV. FRANCIS A. B.\KER. 


65 


by surprise. IIi:; quiet, ullassuluing character had not pre- 
pared even hi:::; friends to expect that he would manifest so 
llluch pow.er as a preacher. Fronl this titHe hi
 reputation ,vas 
fixed at the highest point, and he al,vays sustained it. There 
.were several very excellent preachers in the ]\[aryland 
Diocese, but I believe it was generally admitted that Mr. 
Baker surpassed then1 all, and the most intellectual and 
cultivated people over looked upon hi::; serlnons as affording 
to their luillds and hearts one of the choicest banquets they 
were capable of enjoying. I have never kno,vn a young 
clergYlnan to ùe more generally and wnrlnl y adn1Ïred and 
loved than Mr. Baker. K evertheless, applause and popular- 
ity did not affect him in the least, and the pure mirror of his. 
soul was never tarnished by vanity and self-complacency. 
Even then, his spontaneous desires and longings seemed to 
forecast the apostolic vocation ,vhich ,vas in store for him. 
!-Ie had an ardent desire for a religious life, and was especially 
attracted by the character and life of N"icholas Ferrar, and 
by the hi
tory of the little religious cOlumunity ,vhich he 
funned at Little-Gidding. In our ,val1
s we often conversed 
about the practicability of establishing a religious house 
,vhich ,yonld give us the opportunity of ,vorking alnong the 
neglected masses of the people, and looked about for SOll1e 
suitable building for this purp03e. There "Tas a schelne 
talked of for establishing a Inonastic and rnissionary institute 
on the eastern shore of J\Iaryland, and there were eight or 
ten clergymen ,vho ,,,"ould have been eager to join in the 
enterprise if the bishop had been cOlu'ageous enough to begin 
it. But the fear of Low Churchn1en prevailed, and nothing 
,vas e,er done. We very soon found that the work of "Cathol- 
icizing" the Episcopal Church in l\Iar.rland got on very 
slowly and miserably, through the open opposition of the 
Low Church party, and the dead, inert resi
tance of the old 
High Ohurch. At an early period of Bishop'Vhittingham's 
adulinistratioll, the Rev. IIenry V. D. Johns, rector of 



66 


MEMOIR OF 


Ohrist Ohurch, bade him open defiance, and preserved that 
attitude until his death, Inany years afterward. The bishop 
preached and published t\vo relnarkably learned and able ser- 
mons on the priesthood, one of ,vhich ,vas preached at the 
institution of Mr. Johns. At the close òf it he exhorted the 
parishioners to receive their new rector as their divinely- 
appointed teacher, and to sublnit to his instructions ,vith 
docility. The same night, 1\11'. Johns preached a serlnon 
,vhich contained a violent attack on the bishop's doctrine, 
and made a solemn declaration, sanctioned by an appeal to 
IIeaven, that he would evermore oppose that doctrine, and 
preach the contrary in his pulpit. This ,yas the signal for 
hostilities, and a sharp controversy arose out of the affair, 
,vhich was renewed fronl time to time, as occasion offered. 
The bishop made one or two more efforts to bring out,his 
Reformed Catholicism in sermons or charges, and then 
desisted, seeming to be n10re anxious to defend himself against 
the charge of Popery than to attack Protestantisnl. In 
regard 
o tþe out,vard ceremonial of religion, the efforts 
Inade to improve it were equally feeble and abortive. There 
,vas a lniserable little church in an obscure street, called St. 
Stephen's, ,vith an altar something like a marble-topped 1\?ash- 
stand, and some curtains covered ,vith roughly-executed 
symbols, such as mitres, chalices, keys, etc., "here ,ve played 
a little at Catholics with so lnuch success that a good old lady 
said it was worse than the Cathedral. The opposition which 
was excited by these innocent and absurd little ecclesiological 
essays ,vere such that the parish ,vas nearly ruined, and the 
rector in great alarm speedily banished all innovations, and 
brought his chancel and his windows back to the old-fashioned 
style. There was a little preaching in the surplice, a little 
display of crosses, and a gl'eat deal of Catholic talk in private 
circles, and very little else. The attempt to make the Pro- 
testant Episcopal Church in l\IarJTland exhiLit herself as the 
Reforlned Catholic Church was a most signal failure. T
e 



REV. FRAXCIB A. BAKER. 


G7 


TJlue Oatllolic labored faithfully to defend Mr. N ewmall 
from the charge of Rornanizillg until he actually joined the 
Catholic Church, and then took to t.1ecrJ-ing 1Í111 and other 
converts as Hluch as possible. It then took up ..A..rchdeacon 
1.lanning, II. 'V. 'Vilberforce, and Marshall, loading its 
pages with extracts from their "Titings, until all these 
gentlenlen followed 1.11'. K e,vlllan's exanlplc. ",Vhat it did 
after,vard, and ,,-hether it has sw'vived until the present 
time or not, I do not kno,v. The cilssocks ,vere silently and 
gradually dropped. Some of the young clergYlnen lnarried, 
and took to walking sedately in the old paths, and others left 
the diocese. 'rhe few who could not unlearn or forget the 
Catholic principles they had imbibed, retired into themsel \.es 
and kept quiet. And thus Inatters ,vent back to their old 
condition of a sort of uneasy cOlllpronlise between IIigh and 
Low Church, on the basis of a COlllIDon hostility to Rome. 
I remember ,veIl the startling effect produced by the news 
of 
Ir. Ne,vmall's conversion. ",Y11atever his modesty may 
induce hiIn to say in disclainler, he was the leader, the life, 
and the soul, of the Oxford movement: his genius and char- 
acter had acquired for him in this country, as ,,?ell as in Eng- 
land, a sway over a lllultitude of minds such as is seldoln 
possessed by any living man. The ne,ys of his conversion 
was brought to Balthnore by Bishop Reynolds, of Charles- 
ton, 'who had just arrived fron1 Europe. I heard it froln 
Bishop 'Vhittinghanl, one evening, after I had been to 
prayers in St. Paul's. I passed him on the steps and went 
out, and heard him say in a sorro,yful tone, "N e"-lnan hac; 
gone." It "
cnt to my heart as if I had heard of UlY father's 
death.. I did not ,vish to speak with anyone on the subject, 
for, although I was not prepared to follow hin1, yet I could 
not speak harshly or lightly of the decision of a 111an ,vhose 
w'isdolll and goodnes:; I venerated so highly, or endure to 
hear the COlnments of others. _ :Thlr. Baker and I had no op- 
portunity to converse together very much on tbis matter, or 



68 


MEMOIR OF 


indeed on any other. Our separation was at hand, under 
circumstances painful and trying to both. lie was confined 
to the chanlber of his brother Alfred, ,vho ,vas dangerously 
ill with the varioloid, and, of course, could neither nlake or 
receive any visits. I was obliged to leave BaltiInore a fe,v 
days after, for North Carolina, by the order of my physician. 
I took a hurried farewell of !lr. Baker, at the door of his 
house, with very Ii ttle expectation, on either side, of ever 
meeting again. lIe had assisted me very frequently in the 
duties of my little parish in the suburbs, during several 
months of declining health, and after my departure he con- 
tinued to visit the congregation and preach for them occa- 
sionally. It ,vas during the autun1n of 1845 that I left Bal- 
timore. At the close of the I-Ioly Week of 1846 I was re- 
ceived into the Catholic Church, at Charleston, S. C., and in 
:1farch, 1841, I "Tas ordained priest by the Right Rev. Dr. 
Reynolds, the bishop of tbe diocese. 
Before leaving Edenton, N. C., ,vhere I resided during the 
previous ,vinter, I wrote to 1.fr. Baker to inform hin1 of my 
intention, and I continued to 'vrite to him occasionally; re- 
ceiving letters froln hiln in return, for SOlne months after- 
ward. The correspondence on his part soon became con- 
strained and formal, and at last 'vas stopped at his request. 
For the three years, immediately following lny ordination, I 
sa,v or heard nothing of hhn. I continued to hope for his 
conversion, and often offered up the Holy Sacrifice for that 
, 
intention. By degrees, ho,vever, tbe thought of him passed 
a,vay fron1 my lnind, and I ceased to anticipate that the 
broken thread of our friendship would ever be re-united. I 
supposed that he had become permanently settled at SOlne 
halting-place bet"Teen Protestantisln and the Catholic Church, 
and ,yould live and die contentedly in his chosen position as 
an Episcopalian clergyman, forgetting his earlier and nobler 
aspirations as among the dreams of youth. For the history 
of his mind during this period, I am indebted to the letters 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


69 


,vhicL he continued to \\
rite to the bosom friend who has 
been already spoken of, and the illforillation ,vhich that friend 
has given TIle personally. Iamalso indebted to the sa1ne source, 
chiefly, for the history of his progress toward Catholirity, 
during the entire period of se'\en years "which elapsed before 
hi8 reception into the Catholic Church. For, althongh I saw' 
hiIu repeatedly during the last three years of this period, he 
,vas extremely guarded and reserveù in his language; and 
during our COlllmon life together, as Catholics, afterw"ard, I 
novel' asked him for any detailed account-the subject hav- 
ing, in great measure, lost its interest for us both. 
I have reason to believe that at the time of n1Y conversion 
he 11ad his IDisgi vings, and indeed his first letters to me 
sho,ved a disposition on his part to enter into a free discus- 
sion of the matter with me. lIe soon quieted these misgiv- 
ings, howeyer, and deterillined to throw himself heart and 
soul into the ,york of realizing Catholicity in Lis own Church. 
lIe even underwent a reaction ,,-hich a"
oke a feeling of 
hostility to the Roman Church, and of anger against lnc, for 
having, as he expressed it, "spoiled their plans." IIis good 
and true friend of past days, ,vho had continually encouraged 
and urged hin1 on from the first to follo,v boldly in the foot- 
steps of those ,,10 led the advance of the Oxford movenlent, 
,vould not, ho"ever, permit hhn to rest in this state. lIe 
was determined hilllself not to shut his eyes to the difficulties 
and perplexities of his position, and he would !lot allo,v his 
friend to do it. lIe never ceased to un bosom free] y all his 
O"w'n doubts and disquietudes, to communicate the results of 
his continual reading and reflection, and to stimulate his 
friend to push on in the study of Catholic principles and 
doctrines until he had reached a final and satisfactory result. 
Judging from the letters of Mr. Baker which I have before 
rne, I should think that both his misgivings about his o"\vn 
position and his bitter feelings toward the Roman Church 
gave place to a quiet resolution of adhering to the position he 



70 


MEMOIR OF 


had taken, before 1,11'. Newman's conversion and that of 
others of lesser note had startled his repose. For t,vo or 
three years his letter3 do not indicate a disquieted mind, but 
are often full of hope for the prospects of the Anglican com- 
munion. By degrees a change is manifest, and it is easy to 
see the progress of a conviction slowly forcing itself upon 
hin1 that the Episcopal Church is essentially Protestant, and 
all the efforts made to place her in a Catholic light and atti. 
tude a lnere illusion. The workings of a mind and heart 
struggling ".ith doubt and disquiet, ,veary of a hollow and 
unreal system, ",.eaned from all worldly hopes, detaching 
Íts3lf from all earthly ties, and striving after the truth and 
after God, become more and more n1anifest, until at last, 
after seven long Jears, the result is reached. I have hesitated 
much before determining to insert a portion of these letters 
in this narrative. Certain motiyes of delicacy toward my 
departed friend and others ,vould incline lne to withhold 
then1. But their perusal has seemed to 111e to exhibit so 
much more clearly than any narrative of mine could do, the 
transparent purity of the heart from which theyelnanated, 
and the ,vondelful workings of divine grace upoll it, that I 
have judged it best to prefer the profit of those .who ,viII 
read this book to private feeling. Sonle of them, ,vhieb are 
lnerely descriptive, I have inserted, because there could be 
no reason for ,vithholding them, and tl1ey ,yill give pleasure 
to the friends of the writer, ,"vho value every thing which 
c,ame from his pen. In regard to others, "hich ,vere private 
and confidential, I have used the utn10st caution to select 
only those portions which are necessary to a full exhibition 
of the writer's gradual progress to tbe Catbolic Ohurch. 
I ,vill first quote SOlne extracts from the correspoTJ-dence of 
an earlier period, which show tl]e first blossoms of the later 
ripened fruit of Catholic faith and holiness in the pure and 
upright soul of Francis Baker. 



REV. FR
,CIS A. BAKER. 


11 


FRO:M FTI...\.KCIS A. B...-\.KER TO DWIGllT E. L TIL.<\N. 


"My DEAR D'VIGTIT: 


"B..\LTUIOIm, Fcbrua1'U 20, 1843. 


.\. 


* 


.
-: 


* 


"Of course Jyon have seen the letter' Quare Illlpec1it.' Is 
it not very caustic? I cannot hut think it dëfective in the 
non-o)..'"Prcs
ion of ,vhat the writer doubtless believed, the 
sense in ,\yhich the Council of Tront's ","orc1s as to 'ilnn101a- 
tion' are true. It does not sufficiently bring out the true 
and unfigurative sense in wllich the sacri
ce on the altar is 
the same ,yith the sacrifice on the cross. * ÞX- .x- 
"As I go on with my studies, IllY dear D""ight, I ùecome 
Inore and more attracted to then1, and, I hope, more and 
l110re of a Catholic. Indeed, I seem to nlyself to live in a 
different world frolll that around me, and- to be practical I 
find one of the most difficult attainments. But to be frank 
,vith you, in looking forward to the future, the situation of 
a parish priest seldom fills my n1ind. I almost ahvays look 
to the mona::;tic life in some of its lllodificati.ons. It is true 
that on the score of fitness I have no right to look for\vard to 
such privileges; but frQm SOll1e circunlstances ,vhich you ,viti 
appreciate, IllY heart has been drawn 1110re entirely from the 
world than nlost persons of Iny age. But the future belongs 
to God, p.nd I Inust no"\v prepare l11yself for the duties ,vhich 
seem pointed out to me. I ha ,-e not spoken to anyone else 
of this long-cherished desire, and, indeed, there are at present 
insurmountable difficulties in the ,,"ay; but I do not look 
upon it is as so visfbnary a scheme as I once did. * ÞX- * 
" Your brother told me of his intended repairs in his church. 
I am delig}.1ted to hear it. It ,vill not be long, I hope, before 
such is the universal arral1genlellt of our churches. Only 
one thing will be lacking (if he has a cross), the candlesticks. 
I have come to the conclusion that "\ve have a perfect right 
to"them, for they will come in "by the Church common-law, 


.... 



72 


ME1.10IR OF 


as the surplice did. I do not suppose it would be proper for 
a priest to introduce them without his ordinary's sanction. I 
do wish a charge would come out recolnmending the Cath- 
olic usages. I don't give any weight to the cry of some 
about us, to wait for such things until Catholic doctrines are 
received. I cannot but think that such things would have a 
reflex influence on doctrine. \Vhile we are externally so 
identified with the Protestants, it ,vil1 be hard to convince 
the ,yorld that we have any claims to antiquity or Catholi- 
city. Pray use your influence to have a solid altar, and as 
large as may be." * oj(- oX: 


"BALTIMORE, June 9, 1843. 
"It was a great disappointment to Ine not seeing you 
here at the Convention, and there has been going on here so 
Juuch of interest to you. The ROlnan Council you have 
heard all about, I am sure. I was not present, of course, at 

ny of their services or meetings, nor did I see any of their 
processions, but from all I have heard, and from what I have 
seen at other times, I think it must have been a D10st glo- 
rious spectacle. I do not think I am fond of pageantry, but 
it must have been heart-stirring to see the (Jhurch cOlIlÎng 
out of the sanctuary which she has in her own bosoln, and 
going forth to take possession of the ,,"orld in the name of 
her ascended Lord. Imagine 
 band of sixteen venerable 
bishops, with surpliced acolyths and vested priests, ,vith 
their lights and cross and crosier, all chanting in n1urmur- 
ing responses some old processional chant; the effect of 
the ,vhole heightened by the brightness. of a 1\fay sun re- 
flected fro]}) many a golden stole and glittering Initre! laIn 
sure the sight would have set you crazy. Indeed, I feared 
myself that it ,vould present an unfortunate contrast with 
our neat, dress-coat clergy. But our own Convention had far 
more of an ecclesiastical appearance this year than it ever 
had before. The daily matins at six o'clock, the Litany at 


. 



REV. f'H
\.KCl
 A. n
\KEH. 


73 


nine, and the full Mass service at t,velve, all seemed as if "TO 
were sudllenly transplanted into SOllle other age of tbe 
church, "Tben she understood and realized her heavenly mis- 
sion better than in these later days. Every day after the 
reading of the Go:;pel, all joined in a solen111 profession of 
tbe old Nicene faith; then the 110ly Sacrifice ,vas offered, and 
all were allo,ved to partake of the 1101y 1tlysteries." 
f or. 


" HALTDIOUE, Jane Ð, 184:5. 
""\Vhen the ordination is appointed, if possible, I ,vill let 
JTou know; and if you are disposed to treat Ine better than I 
did yon, I sbould be truly glad to see you here on that oc- 
casion. At all events, my dear Dwight, do not forget to 
pray for me. I regret exceedingly that the advantage of 
the regular Eluber season ,yiIl be lost to me, for I feel in 
need of all the assistance 
Thich the united pra:yers of the 
1101y Church lnight be expected to procure. As soon after 
lny ordination as may be, I ,vish to go to work in such a de- 
partment as may be assigned me by the ,viH of God filld the 
direction of the bishop. I ,vish not 'to choose Iny way,' 
but as far as possible to submit to tbe direction of others, 
lny superiors; for that I belie'Te to be the very secret of 
lninisterial influence. In my case, however, there can hardly 
be any trial of yirtue in tbis course, for with such a bishop 
as God has placed over us, submission is no sacrifice. I have 
deliberately resolved to nlaintain a single life, and acquainted 
the bishop with Iny determination. I tbink he approved of 
lny resolution, tbougb he dissuaded me from taking a vo,v 
to that effect. ..L\ltbough I acquiesced in bis advice, yet I 
shall consider myself from the date of my ordination pledged 
to preserve that state, by the grace of God. All this is 
strictly between ourselves, for I abhór to tal'.; about such 
things. I consider this a Inatter, in our Church at least, of 
strictly individual choice, and ,vbHe I have no hesitation my- 
self in adopting the course I have mentioned, I sbould de- 
4 



74 


MEMOIR OF 


spise myself and tbink but poorly of my own Inotives, if I 
sbould ever think less of anotber for exercising differently 
his Christian liberty." * * .:f 


The foregoing extracts are taken from letters written be- 
fore the tÏIne of my leaving Baltimore, and of course, there- 
fore, before tbe thought of joining the Catholic Church h9.d 
entered any of our minds. Those which follow were written 
at various times during tbe period of seven years, between 
1846 and 1853, wbich was the period of transition in 
Ir. 
Baker's mind, ending in his conversion. 


" BALTnloRE, July 9, 1846. 
" Every thing has been remàrkably quiet in Baltimore for 
the last montb. There seems to be nothing of the excite- 
ment that for a while prevailed on the subject of 'Roman ten- 
dencies' and' perversions.' I know not wbether the 'Fø\v 
Thoughts' of Mr. II., ,vbich is just published here, anù ,vbich 
I suppose you have seen, will awaken controversy; but 
should suppose not, from the occasion and nature of the pub- 
lication, it being Inerely an explanation of his own course, 
and written illlmediately on the determination to take that 
course. I have heard the pampblet spoken of as 'a ,veak 
production,' as ' doing :ßfr. H. no credit.' Are ,ve not too apt 
to speak so of tbe work of an opponent 
 Of course tbe essay 
is not a learned and systelnatic argument, nor does it profess 
to be so; but it is (as it appears to me) honest, to the point, 
and well expressed. I speak this of the production: as an ar- 
gument, it of course resolves into the great Roman plea of 
Visible [Tnity. 
" I understand that a 
Ir. -, a presbyter of onr Churcb, 
and alumnus of tbe General Thelogical Seminary, made his 
public abjuration of Protestantism in St. J\Iary's Cbapel, on 
Sunday last. I suppose you bave seen tbe account of -'s de- 
fection. I was told, a few days ago, tbat - has made up bis 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


75 


luind to ' go ;' but as it ,vas a noman Catholic who told me, 
[ did not know but lIe might be n1isled. Do you kno\v any 
thing about it 
 I received, a few days ago, a letter ii-onl 
H. It was merely a fi"iendly letter, without controversy, de- 
scribing his mode of life, written ,ery cheerfully and kindly. 
It ,vill give 1110 pleasure to show it to 
you ,,'hen JTou 
ome to 
TIaltiu10re to see me, to ,vhich visit I look for\vard ,vith 
great pleasure. We will then talk about all these- 
trange 
events and tÎInes, and on our thoughts and feelings concern- 
ing thenl. Adieu, adieu, my ùear friend. Let us keep close to 
each other; but first, close to God, and in aU things obedient 
to His "'Till. Again adieu, my dear, good friend." 


It is easy for one who kne,v intimately the ,vriter of this 
Jetter to see that his l1eart was sad and disquieted ,,,hen he 
wrote it, although he docs not ùirectly say so; especially frolll 
the unusual ,varmth and tenderness of his expressions of at- 
tachnlent to his friend. About two 1110nths after he ,vrote it, 
the time came for hilli to pass his examination for priest's 
orders. The circumstances under ,vhich his exalnination took 
place l"edoubled this disquiet, and cansed hiIn to hesitate 
Illuch about receiving ordination. In the course of his eÀ- 
alnination, he ,vas asked if he accepted the Thirty-nine Ar- 
ticles. It appears that he was not able to accept the reason- 
ing of Tract No. üO, upon ,vhich he must have gone at his 
ordination to the diaconate, and accordingly he replied boldly 
that he rejected some of the Articles, and could not in any 
way give his assent to them. I do not kno\\r ho,v Inal1Y of 
them he qualified in this way; but I kno\v that one of then1 
\yas the thirty-first, as to its second section: "1Vherefore, 
the Sacrifices of 
Iasses, in the ,,
hieh it 'was cOIDlllonly said 
that the priest did offer Christ for the quick and the dead, 
to have remission of pain and guilt, were blasphemous fables 
and dangerous deceits;" and I think, that, another was the 
twenty-second: "Of Purgatory," etc. A discussion arose 



76 


:MEMOIR OF 


anlong his examiners upon the propriety of passing him. The 
bishop endeavored tó waive the ,vhole question, and succeeded 
in pre\7enting his I'ejection. The rector of St. Peter's, who 
"as the chairlllan of the c0111mittee, and whose duty it wa
 
to present the candidates, declined, how"eyer, to present :111'. 
Baker, though, with a singular inconsistency, he privately 
urged hiIn to be ordained. 1\11'. Baker almost resolyed to 
stop where he ,yas, and régretted afterward that he had not 
done so. lIe suffered hilllself, however, to be overruJed by 
the authority and persuasion of the bishop, and as Dr. ",V yatt 
also excused hÏ111self froln taking the responsibility of pre- 
senting hilll, he was presented by another presbyter, and 
ordained on the 20th of Septelllber, 1846. Iris health as 
,vcll as his spirits were iInpp.ircd by tllese troubles; and, there- 
fore, a short time afterward he made a trip to the North, in 
order to recreate both body and Inind, and "ith the hope of 
driving away, by change of scene, the unpleasant thoughts 
"which haunted him. In this he ,"vas in a Ineasure successful. 
lIe appears to have made a resolute determination to thro,v 
himself into his ministry, and to l)ut away all doubt froln 
his Inind. lIe ,vent in search of all that ","'as attractive and 
encouraging in his o,vn communion, and his letter, giving 
an account of his trip, shows that his attachment to it was 
deepened and renewed by the impression made on him by 
the beautiful churches, the tasteful and decorous services, and 
the agreeable, intel1ectual Inen of congenial spirit with bÌ1n- 
sclf, described by him in such a pleasing style. It ,vas after 
this journey that he ,vrote to 111e, expressing a :firln determin- 
ation to adhere to his chosen position, assigning for his chief 
reason the" signs of life" ","'hich he saw in the Episcopal 
Church; and he soon after, as I ha-ve said, dropped his cor- 
respondence 'with me, as one separated from him by a barrier 
which was never to be passed over. 



HEV. FR...\.NCIS A. B
\.KER. 


77 


"BA.I.TIMOHE, Nùvembe1' 10, 1846. 
"I enjoyed my visit to the North quite as much as your 
or nlY o,,-n expectations prolnised. I think the jaunt .was 
in every .way beneficial to nIC. I spcnt a week delightfully 
in N ew York, where a new" ,vorId, as it "Tere, of churches 
was opcned to me, and had a nlost happy (what I call) lw({?,t 
visit to Troy. But you ",.ill eÀ-pect to hear particulars. To 
comn1ence with the commencement, then, ,,,,hat shalll say of 
Trinity Ohurch 
 In SOlne respects it is far beyond my con. 
ceptions. The first impression was really overpo,vering. It 
was on Saturday morning, and but for a few. Inillutes, and it 
seemed to me that both externally and internally the build- 
ing was lllost majestic and beautiful. I next sa\v it on Sun- 
day morning, to great advantage. It ,vas cOlnnlunion day, 
and fourteen l)riests in their surplices were in attendance 
(the COllyel1tion having aùjourneù late the night before). The 
church ,,,Tas full, but yery orderly-the l11usic gra,e and 
fine-though I confess to you (parùon lny ignorance and 
temerity) it was not exactly as I should have liked. It 
seemed to lno to "ant Ï1npressÍ'cenes8 or cæl)res
ion. It '\'"3S 
neither soothing, nor, to 1/le, ,ery grand. Dr. - preached. 
I never saw the Holy OOllllllunion celebrated and ({(bninis- 
teJ'erl in any church "ith so fine effect. The scene, ,yhen 
the choir ,vas filled ,vith the worshippers w.aiting for their 
turn to receive, was truly majestic. On that day I .went 
a,vay ,yith a nlost agreeable iUlpression. After I had been 
there, how eyer, in the week, and especially as I ùecame 
f
1miliar with it, I "Tas very conscious of the great defect and 
coldness of the chancel. The meanness of the altar is pos- 
..... itively too bad; and the 1.l1Vneaningness of the heavy altar- 
screen is curious. The window is not just tp my taste; but 
I do not think so badly of it as some do. On the \vhole, I 
think there can be 110 doubt that the chancel is a failure; but 
the nave is very fine, and the door,vay, the organ-galler):, the 
organ, the to,ver, and tho side-po
'ches most beautiful. On 



78 


MEMOIR OF 


the afternoon of the Sllllday, I went to Grace Church, list- 
ened to the music-exquisite of its kind-sa,v the images! ! ! 
looked at the church, and examined the stained windows. I 
cannot agree with you about this building. Certainly it has 
some beauties. The external appear
nce is very fine, and 
the single figure of our Blessed Lord, in the east window, 
beautiful; but I must say that the whole of the interior 
presented to me a look of finery, and an absence of solenl- 
nity, most unpleasant in the sanctuary. The windows were 
simply distressing. It will seem very Protestant after this 
to say it, but still it is true, that the church looked very like 
a Roman Catholic Church to me; perhaps it would be truer to 
say ROlnish, for it seemed to 111e in keeping .with some things 
we call by this name. I was disappointed in Grace Church; for 
I ,vent prepared to like it, from your representation, and 
from my confidence in your taste. 
" Next in order of my seeing, but really, perhaps, first of an, 
is the Church of the Holy Communion. This is really a gem. 
I was there at evening prayer on a week-day, and I left with 
a grateful heart tbat it was granted me to ,vorsbip there. I 
am not lTIuch of an architect, but the building seemed to lTIe 
lJeJ:fect. I at least had no fault to find ,vith it. The services 
,vere read at the chancel rail. The canticles were chanted 
with the organ accompaniment. It ,vas at once solemn and 
very beautiful. I said I had no fault to find. Perhaps that 
is too llluch. I do think there is an absence of warmth in 
the colors of the church, and of a certain grace and þright- 
ness about the chancel, which would be entirely obviated by 
substituting, instead of the present altar, a ,,,,hite or colored 
marble one of the same size, adorned ,vith candlesticks and 
covered with a lace cloth. This, however, is to make it a 
perfect church for nlY eye, and I alll not at all sure that I am 
right. 
" I said Troy was the most agreeable place I had visited. 
You ,viII not need to be told what it was which gave it this 



REY.. FRAKCIS A. B.\KER. 


79 


interest: the Church of the IIoly Cross. Oh, how glorious 
that cnterpri5e is! IIo,v perfectly devotional and elevating 
those servÍces! I ,vas made very, very happy by thi
 visit. 
It seelned unearthly, and it seemed, too, a pro111i;::,e of better 
and holier days, a. harbinger of returning glory to our de- 
pressed Church. Could yon not introduce this service into 
the college. It is worth a very great effort. Nothing else 
can produce such an effect as the choral service. "Tith the 
material you have, I should not think it ,vould be iInpossible, 
and at nothing short of this ought you to stop. I formed a 
valuable acquaintance ,vith, and had the pleasure of visiting 
all tbe clergy of the place, ".ho are renlarka11y united, and 
,vho received me ,vith Southern ,varmth and cordiality. I 
was at the Church of the IIoly Cross as often as it was possi- 
ble for me to be there, you lllay he sure, and left it at the 
last with real regret. I consider this visit alone fully repaid 
me for the journey." * * 

- 


From this time there is not a trace of disquietude ,yith 
his position to be observed in his correspondence, until 
1849. Under date of February, 1847, he writes to his friend, 
w.ho, as it appears from his o\\"n declarations, was the only 
intÏ1nate friend he had RlTIOng his brother clergymen: "I 
still ,vrite now and then to II., but there is such a restriction 
on the freedom of thought and expression in speaking to hiln, 
that I have but very little interest in the correspondence; 
indeed I think it hardly likely long to continue; but fronl 
you there is no need or ","ish on my part to conceal any thing. 
* -x- * I long to leave St. Paul's. I do not say this to 
anyone here, for nothing is gained of talking; but to JOu I 
say that I am obliged constantly to fall back on the reflection 
that, until sonle other way is opened, lny duty lies here. It is 
not on account of any disagreeables in my position; but there 
are peculiar dangers and difficulties attending it., and I cannot 
help fearing constant.Jy that my life is too easy and too soft 



80 



IE
10IR OF 


to please God. Still I see not ,vhich way to Inovo.. I think 
I wish to submit myself entirely to the Divine 1Vil1. I hope 
it will not seelll hnpertinent, dear Dwight, to ex
ess a hope 
that this coming Lent may be a season of strict dis
ipline to 
us both. Oh, I need it! I cannot tell you how the sense of 
responsibility concerning the soul
 of others sometimes alarllls 
me. I can say this to you, without hypocrisy, I trust. I need 
to be purged by penance very, very much, to be dra,vn away 
. fron1 pride and vain-glory, and slothfulness and self-\\Till ; 
these are lIlY besetting sins; and to be stirred up to diligent 
study, to obedience, to humiJity} to labor, and to prayer. I 
pray that I lnay have the grace to fulfil the work which God 
11as put in lny heart to undertake this Lent, that He would- 
draw me away from all things else, entirely to be united to 
IIÍ1n. It ,vould be a 11l0st pleasant thought that ,ve "\\
ere 
thus entering on this penitential season together." 


The follo,ving extract from [t letter of June 23, 1848, 
shows the interest which the writer still felt in 1\lr. N ew- 
man :- 
"Is it not encouraging to see the stir that has been raised 
in England about Dr. Hampden's nomination 
 The secular 
papers all call the opposition ,a 'Tractarian :ßlovement.' If 
they mean by this that none but Tractarians are engaged in 
it, it is palpably false; but in another sense it is certainly 
true. I see clearly in the whole matter the fruits of 
that 1110Yelnent, the greater earnestness and zeal for ortho- 
doxy, as such, so different from ,vhat would have been ex- 
hibited a quarter of a century ago. And WhOlll are we to 
thank for fixing the brand of heterodoxy upon this man; so 
that he cannot pass off his sophisms upon an un,vary Church, 
but the great master to "-Thorn we once looked up, to "Thorn 
God gave so clear a vision of the truth and so great a zeal 
to uphold it 
 Thi
 is the fruit of a seed so,vn by a hand no,v 
raised up against us, one of the many gifts by ,vhich we keep 



REV. FH.ANCIS A. BAKER. 


81 


him and his great faculties in reillPnlbrance, though, alas! 
'"e no\v see hin1 no morc.'" 
In one uf thcse letters ltIr. Baker speaks of hiö desire to 
Jeaye St. Paul's Church for SOlne other field of labor. N ever- 
theles3, he rernained there six years out of the cight years of 
his Protestant ministry. In 1848 he received au invitation 
to the Church of St. J allIes the Less, a very beautiful and 
costly, though small church, in the. suburbs of Philadelphia, 
built after the style of the English Benedictine abbey- 
churche
, and fitted up after the manner \vhich delights the 
.L-\.uglo-Catholic heart. This invitation he declined, at the 
request of his bi::;hop, who was naturally 10th to part ,vitI) 
hiIn. A proposal "as thon Inade that he should found a new 
parish; and this, I suppose, \vas the plan afterward carried 
out at St. Luke's. 1'his plan "
as postponet1 froln tÏ1ne to 
tÏIne on account of the precarious health of AlfI'od Baker. 
1.Iean"Thile, he devoted billlself 1110st assiduously to his pri- 
vate religio
s exercises and to his nlinisteriallabors. I have 
never known a young clergYlnan Inore universaIIy and 
w.annly loved and admired than he was among the people 
of his conunuuion. lIe ÏInpro\ed sedulously his adnlirablc 
gifts for preaching, and in a diocese containing a number of 
exceJ1ent preachers, he attained auj,l kept the fir::;t rank. IIis 
í
lstidiou;; taste and sense of }H'opriety led hiIn soon to drop 
the long cassock, and every thing cbe in outw.ard dress and 
demeanor ,,
hich had appeared singu1ar in the first years of 
his lllinistry. lie avoided controversy and all peculiarities of 
doctrine in his sermons, and confined hilnself chiefly to those 
truths of religion and those practical points which ,,
ould be 
received \vithout question by his hearers. Asiùe from the 
pastoral intercourse ,vhich he had "rith his peop1e, his life 

"as yery retired. lIe had the ideal of the Catholic priest- 
hood ahvays in view, and this encolnpassed his discharge of 
ministerial duties ,,"ith many practical difficulties. He felt 
t.his particularly, as he has often said, in his visits to the sick 
4* 



82 


MEMOIR OF 


. 
and dying, on account of the ,vant of the proper sacraments, 
and the want of a real and recognized sacerdotal relation. 
lIe could not help feeling ahvays th,'\t while theoretically he 
regarded hÏ1nself as a Catholic priest, in point of fact he ,vas 
but a Protestant minister, compelled to fall back on a system 
of subjective pietism, based on Lutheran doctrine, to which 
he had an invincible repugnance, and in which his hands 
,vere tied. 
Meanwhile events were pl
ogressing in the English Church 
and producing their reflex action in this country. On the 
one hand, the Oxford movement was still going forward 
under ne,v leaders, and on the other, the Protestant character 
of tbe Anglican Establishment and its American colony was 
exhibiting itself every day more and more decisively. The 
first great ,vave that had rolled toward Catholicity had cast up 
those ,yho were foremost on its crest on the Rock of Peter. 
.A.Jlother wave was rolling forward in the same direction, 
"\vhich ,vas destined to bear on itg summit still more of 
those "ho floated on the great sea of doubt and error to 
the same secure refuge. The first converts were given up to 
obloquy, and their influence in every possible way lo,vered 
or destroyed, by belittling their character, if that ,vas possible, 
or, if not, by inventing specious reasons to show that the 
course they had taken was the result of SOlne personal 
idiosyncrasy, and not the just consequence of their Catholic 
principles. It was stoutly asserted that the movement was 
not responsible for theIn, and that it did not of itself lead to 
Rome. It began again afresh with new men, new bool\:s, 
ne,v projects. Again there was an advanced party; and in due 
time this advanced party began to move Romeward, denying 
as before that it ,vouId ever actually arrive at Rome. N ever- 
theless, nlany of its members, some of very high character 
and position, did eventually follow the earlier converts over to 
the Catho1ic Church. Others, especially those ,,,"ho were in 
stations of dignity and authority, began to recoil and retract, 



HEV. FRANCIS A. }jAKER. 


83 


and call back their followers to the s'l-fer ground of the old 
Iligh Church. In this country there "Tas a sad lack of 
earnestness tlnd reality on tbe part of tIle majority of those 
'who had yielJ.ed theulselves to Oxford influences, and these 
influences ,vere but faintly felt by the laity. 
lr. Baker ,vas, 
ho,vcver, deeply and sadly in earnest. lIe had schooled hinl- 
self into subnlÎssion to his 8oi-disant Church and hishop, and 
resolutely determined to believe that he could think, act, al
ù 
live up to Catholic doctrines and laws ,vhere he was. lIe 
had thrown himself anew into ....ringlicanism, putting faith ill 
its new leaders and the old ones who remained, and confiding 
in the reality and success of their efforts. Long and wearily 
he struggled to hold out in this course, in spite of the daily 
increasing evidence that it was delusive and hopeless. For long 
Jears he ,vas tossed backward and for,vard on the 'waves of 
doubt and uncertainty, sometimes almost gaining a foothold 
on the Rock, and then dashed again back,vard into the sea. 

lost })ersons, ",'hether they are Catholics or Protestants, 
'will wonder that 
Ir. Baker, having 
lpproached at first, by 
ahnost a single bound, so near the very threshold of the 
Catholic Church, should have "Taited and hesitated so long 
before taking the final step over its border. Those ,vho hav(ì 
not felt it can hardly understand the strong spell by ,vhich 
the system so ably advocated by the Oxford divines capti- 
vated many lllinds. To those "Tho were deeply imbued 
with certain Catholic prepossessions, and yet not emanci- 
pated from the old hereditary prejudice against the Roman 
Church, it offered a compromise which allo'\ved them to 
cherish their prepossessions and yet relnain in the refonned 
Church, where they,vere at home and among their friends, 
and free to select some and reject other Catholic doctrines 
and usages, according to their o,vn private judgment and 
taste. It pretended to give them "a Catholicity more 
Catholic, and an antiquity more ancient" than those of tbe 
ancient, universal motber and mistress of churches hel'l: elf. 



84 


MEMOIR OF 


Once seduced by this specious pretence, there was no end to 
the ingenious arguments, wire-drawn distinctions, fine-spun 
theories, and plausible special pleading by which they were 
detained uuder its influence. The theory has infinite varia- 
tions, and a flexibility which accolnmodates itself to every 
form of doctrine, from the lowest tolerated in tbe Episcopal 
Inini8try to the highest advocated in the Union Review. 
This influence on the mind and conscience is a very injurious 
one, and tends to disable tben1 from reasoning and deciding, 
in a plain and direct manner, on broad and general prin- 
ciples. }Ir. Baker became aware of this afterward, and 
regretted that he had permitted himself to be swayed so 
much by the authority of others instead of following the 
dictates of his own judgment and conscience. . It is im- 
possible for lne to say "\vhether he ,vas dilatory in following , 
the inspirations of divine grace or not. No one but God 
can certainly judge how much time is necessary in any 
individual case for the full n1aturing of the convictions into a 
distinct and undoubting faith. One thing I can assert, ho"p- 
ever, ,,"ith confidence, and I believe that every one who reads 
the ensuing extracts from 
Ir. Baker's letters ,vill share the 

ame conviction: that he never deliberately quenched the 
light of the Divine Spirit, or refused to follo\v it from any 
\vorldly and unworthy motives. "J-Ie sought for wisdom by 
study, prayer, and a pure life, and although he ,vas slo'v in 
arriving at a full deterlnination, yet he made a continual. 
progress to,vard it; and w'hen he reached it, he did not 
shrink from any sacrifice 1vhich obedience to God and his 
eOllscience required of hÍIl1. 
In a letter under the date of June 4, 1849, after speaking 
of the probability of his leaving St. Paul's, and the unc
rtainty 
he was in in regard to his future plans, which ,vere interfered 
\vith by the ill-health of his l)rother, he thus '\VTites: 
"I Inissed you at the Convention; indeed, there are seve- 
ral reasons why I did not enjoy Inyself at that time. It seemed 



RE\T. FRAKCIS A. BAKER. 


85 


to me that there were but one or t\VO ,vith whom I had any 
real sympathJ. There was very little done. The bishop 
could not be present on account of indisposition. K. reaù 
the bishop's charge. It was able, but tllopougldy and strongly 
Protestant. The position it took ".a5 perfectly unequivocal; 
and it places certain people, whose position before ,vas suffi- 
('iently uncomfortable, in a most painfhl predican1ent. lIe 
shuts us up to the very sense of the Articles and Prayer-Book, 
([s undepstoocZ by tlw RefOI'7nCl'8 j and tells those who cannot 
submit to this, who are ".illing not to contradict that sense,. 
but do not beliet'e it, he tells them very plainly that they arc 
obliged to leave a ministry for \vhich they are no longer com- 
petent. The charge convinces n1e either that ,ve have here- 
tofore luisunderstood the bishop, or that he has :fixed himself 
upon a ne,v platform. lIe no,v Inakes the Protestant elell1ent 
in our Church's teaching (which is certainly the most proIllinent . 
one in her history) the lnost authoritative and controlling. It 
appears to me that he might as ".ell have said at once that the 
Church of England ,vas founded at the llefonnation. May 
God teach us ,vhat ,ve ought to do." 
I have been told by :ThIr. Baker that the Lishop, on some 
occasion, sent hin1 his charge to look oyer, with the request that 
he would read it for him at the Convention, and that he de- 
clined reading it, on account of his strong objection to the 
doctrine it contained. I suppose that this lTIUst bave been the 
charge in question. I :find no other letter froln this date until 
January D, 18:50, under which date ho writea at length, anù 
begins to unbosom himself 1110re freely than he had done 
before: 
" There ,vas sOIllething in your last Jetter \vhich was par- 
ticularly refreshing to me. It seemed like old times, and 
brought an assurance of sympathy "yhen I had begun deeply 
to feel the ,vant of it. You say that Iny letter was not 80 full 
or like myself as SOlne others. There was a reason why it ,vas 
not so, and the same reason has delayed the ans"\ver to your 



86 


MEMOIR OF 


last kind favor. I have had many painful and distressing 
thoughts, ",vhich I hardly knew how to express to anyone; 
and it seemed a ,vrong and cruelty to grieve one's friends 
wIlcn every catholic-minded brother had so n1uch to bear on 
his o,vn account. N O\V that I have decided upon the course 
I ,viII take, I can write more calmly, and with less risk of per- 
plexing others. You will guess the cause of anxiety. 
Iy 
conviction of the truth and holiness of Catholic doctrines has 
not diminished since I saw JOu; my apprehension of what 
I hold is firmer and more distinct; my prejudice against some 
,things which the Roman Church holds as catholic truths, but 
,vhich we deny, has been shaken; and while this was enough 
to make my present position in some respects uncomfortable, 
the longing for a fuller measure of catholic privileges, tbe 
want of sJmpathy, the uncertainty, dissension, and mutabili- 
ty among us, and the awful greatness of the claims and 
pro1l1ises of Rome, made me willing to entertain the thought 
of changing my ecclesiastical relations. On looking back 
upon this state of feeling, there was much that was ,vrong. I 
felt in many ways the results of past unfaithfulness; I was 
confused and perplexed; I was doubtful of my o,vn sincerity. 
Sometimes every thing seen1ed uncertain to me. But what. 
ever were the causes, and ,vhatever the characteristics of IllY 
state of mind, I felt, upon a careful examination of myself
 
that the only proper course for me to pursue ,vas to institute 
a candid and diligent search into the elaims of the Roman 
Church to be tlte IIoly Catholic Church. All her claiIns 
seem to resolve themselves into that of tbe supremacy of the 
See of St. Peter, and I accordingly resolved to confine my in- 
vestigations to that point. I cOlnmunicated IllY deterIllina- 
tion to the bishop last week, and asked him whether I could 
continue to officiate ,vhile I was engaged in such a course. 
lIe thought I could and ought, and offered me every assist- 
ance in his power, in the way of books, advice, etc. lIe ,vas 
wonderfully kind and forbearing, but firm in assuring me 



REV. FUANCIS A. BAKER. 


87 


that investigation of the })oint would but end in conyjction of 
the untenableness of the Roman claim. I have felt calmer 
since I acted thus, and propose toellter forth\vith upon the study 
of this question, keeping it as clear as I can of e-xterior mat- 
ters, and pushing it, if I 111ay, to a deci;:,ion. I need not, I kno\v, 
ask of you the charity to continue your prayers for thp Divine 
blessing and guidance to Jour perplexed friend." 


" Tuesday J:..Tight. 
" You ,vill understand, froin wbat I bave been telling you 
of the thoughts 'which have occupieù my mind for SOlne time 
past, how the various eyents in the Church during the last 
few months have affected me. "\Vith regard to -'8 depart- 
ure, I confess it ,vas the deepest grief to me, and, in connec- 
tion with other circumstances, diù much to distress and 
unsettle me. It is one of tbe most afiiicting things about the 
present controversies, these separations between fi'ielld and 
friend, between master and di.:;ciple; yet I know that even 
this is to be borne meekly and obediently, if ,ve cannot see it 
to be our ÙnlJClytti-ve duty to follo\v those we have loved and 
lost; and now that I have undertaken in a rational way to 
satisfy myself on this point I can think lnore calmly of our 
isolation and bereavelnent. To return to more Protestant 
ground (I know that it does not suit unlearned people to say 
what they will do, but) I feel is impossible. J\Iy conviction 
of the truth of the systeln (in opposing and barking at which 
Protestantism has its life and occupation) continually increases; 
but I think I feel that if I could be persuaded that the Divine 
'Vi111nade it to be lny duty to remain where I aln, I could 
submit to all the difficulties and privations of our position 
uncomplainingly and even cheerfully. 
"Bishop Ives's movement, so far as it ,vas intended to in- 
troduce the general practice of auricular confession, had my 
unrestrained sympathy. How far he meant to go in assert- 
ing its necessity, I confess myself unable to determine; but 



88 


:MEMOIR OF 


anyho,v, I think he ,vent farther than Protestant Episcopa- 
liaÏ1ism ,vill bear him out in going. It was an infinite relief 
to me 'when he came out as boldly as he did; and no,v that 
he has presented the subject anew to the Church, I feel assured 
that the Church ,vill be obliged to In8et the question. I confess 
I do not feel very hopeful as to the issue of the controversy, 
for it seenlS to 1ne that nothing short of a miracle could dis- 
pose the mass of our people to the practice of confession. The 
IIigh Churclllnen 'will be as opposed to it as the Low Church- 
men. 1Iaryland 'v ill kick asmuch as Ohio. But nOU8 verrons." 
SOlne tÏ1ne after the date of this letter, 111'. Baker Inade a 
voyage to Berlnuda with his brother Alfred, ,vho was now in 
a deep and hopeless decline. He returned some time in the 
early part of tbe ensuing summer. One day, either a little 
befûre or a little after this voyage, I accidentally met hiIn as 
I was out ,valking. I had returned once more to BaltÏ1llore, 
and was making my novitiate at the 110use attached to St. 
Alphonsus' Church. It was no,v nearly five years since 1 
had seen n1Y fonner friend, and three since I had received 
any letters from him. I was startled and pleased at our un- 
expected rencontre, and at the light of friendship which I 
saw in his face and eyes; but the pain of being separated 
from him ,vas renewed. J\Ir. Ly:tnan caIne to see me, one 
day, during the spring of 1850; and ,vas Inuch more frank and 
cordial in his manner than Mr. Baker, ,vho kept a close vail 
of reserve over his heart until the last. I inquired of him 
particularly about J\fr. Baker, whether he had Inade any 
retrograde lnovement, &c. He replied that he had rather 
advanced, and had become n10re spiritual in his preaching, 
advised me to visit hin1, and on my objecting to this on the 
ground that a yisit might be intrusive and unwelcome, 
assured me of the contrary. It was through his in.fluence 
that some degree of intercourse was froln this time re-estab- 
lisbed between 1\11'. Baker and myself. A subsequent letter 
of 1tIr. Baker speaks of his visiting me" and also describes his 



R!1
V. FHAKCIS A. BAKER. 


89 


visit to Bermuda ill the follo\\ying terlllS. The letter is dated 
October 2!, 1850:- 
" On lny return frOIU Bennuda, I found your kind anù in- 
teresting letter, and felt grateful to Jon for the friendship 
\\Thich you have no\v continued to lue for seyeral years. I 
aIll sorry not to have seen yon when you 'Were in Baltinlore, 
. and in. fact that \vas tbe only regret I felt on account of 111Y 
absence from home at the tinle of the Convention. The Con- 
vention itself I have ceased to look forward to with any pleas- 
ure. The truth is, it nl'Ways sadùens me to mingle at all 
\vith the clergy proIl1iscuously. I feel that there i::; so little 
syn1pathy bet\\yeen us, that the sense of loneliness is forced 
upon nle lllore distinctly than \vhell I keep to Inyself alto- 
gether. But I do not nlean to \vrite gloon1iIy to a friend 
\vith WhOlll I cOillulunicatc so seldom, and indeed I do not 
comjJlain of the want of sYlupathy "yhich I fcel, or blalne 
others for it. I know that tbe cause of it is in n1yself, and I 
acknowledge \vith gratitude the great degree of indulgence, 
kindness, and' forbearance \vith \vhich I hav'c been univcr- 
8 all y trca ted. 
" I have felt happIer lately, though I do not kno\v 'why I 
should, for I cannot say that I have gained a satisfactory posi- 
tion; and when I think of dying, anxious thoughts conle 
across me; but I have been pursuing (as Iny occupation 
alIO\Vedllle) IllY investigations into the question of the supre- 
Inacy, anù I wish to abide by the result, without being s\va.r ed 
by feeling one way or another. I havc rcad N e""1llan's Dis- 
courses since I received your letter. They are like all that 
he 'Writes, thoughtful, earnest, holy, and deeply inlpressive; 
but I think they differ froln his Parochial 8ern1011s in having 
the appearance of III ore excited feeling, and in being more 
affectionate in their tone. lIe seems to ,,-rite under a press- 
ing anxiety to influence those he addresses, and he opens his 
heart Inore than he did of old. I think this accounts in part 
for an objection "\vhich I haye heard brought against them, 



90 


MEMOIR OF 


that they are not so strictly logical. He seenlS to l11e pos- 
sessed with that proselyting spirit ,vhich has always appeared 
to me to be so divine a token about the Church of Rome, as 
if the constant reflection of his Inind was, "Vhat shall it 
profit a luan if he shall gain the ,vhole world, aud lose his 
own soul 
' 
"I was deeply interested in the account of your visit to II. 
I too saw H., but only for a Inoment. "\Ve met on the road, 
and he stopped most kindly, and we had a minute's conver- 
sation. Of course there was nothing but commonplace. I 
know not how he felt, but I felt very sad. 
" Yon l11ay irnagine that I have looked ,vith no little interest 
at the progress of ecclesiastical affairs in England. The 
secessions lately have made a tren1endous excitement-more 
so, I really think, than those in 1845, perhaps on account of 
the 'present distress.' 
" I have not much of interest to tell you about Bermuda. 
You know it is an English colony, and I saw there for the 
first time the ,vorkings of the English Church. In every thing 
except the l\Iorning and Evening Prayer, I think we haye 
the advantage, particularly excepting the latter. The clergy 
I found a hard-"working set of men, fi'ank and cordial, and 
very much interested and well informed in matters relating 
to our Church. The churches are very plaili, but have a 
quiet, grave, soothing air about them, the clergy 11loStly 
, IIigh Church,' but not after our sort, and the people seelned 
to me to be ahnost entirely devoid of a Church tone and 
spirit, though not irreligious. Dissent is very rife, and, I 
fancy, influences even members of the Church. They have a 
noble-hearted bishop, Bishop Field, austere, self-denying, 
devout, hard-working, and charitable, and by his assistance 
they are building a very handsome church on the island; but 
I found that he ,vas not popular, that even his mode of life 
,vas objected to: he was called a P1ltseyite. I did not preach 
while I "was there, but I assisted several of the clergy at the 



REV. FRANCffi A. BAKER 


91 


services, and o
ce at the holy comillunion, in which I found 
the olnission of 'the oblation' to have a most painful efftct 
u pOll illY feelings. 
"I ,vas very glad to get so full and gratifying account of 
your church. I ùo indeed congratulate :rou on its cOlnple- 
tion. I think you have done wonders, w.ith so nl::tny diffi- 
culties, to succeed in so short a time, and I sincercly hope that 
you may find your zeal and labor repaid by an increase of 
your congregation, and of true devotion and carnestncss 
among them. Froln Jour deseription of the church I thought 
it Inust be a very nlagnificent cdifice, quite beyond York 
Jllinster and churches of that size; and to see so famous a 
building, and still more to see tbe kind, ,varm fi'iend ,vho min- 
isters ".ithin it, would be so gre3:t a pleasure, that you must 
not be surprised if sonle old friends should SOlne time make 
a pi1grilnage there." 
"January 27, 1851. 
"I often feel ,vhat a relief it would be to open one's heart, and 
to have the sympathy and counsel of a friend ,vho can under- 
stand one's views and feelings. TIut it is impossible to do so 
by letter, because one shrinks froln coolly ,vriting down one's 
thoughts, ,vhich "Tonld be expressed .without effort in the 

varmth and freedonl of conversation. Since the receipt of 
your letter I saw II. I had deterlnined not to seek hirn, but 
about the beginning of this lnonth he called on lne. lie 'vas 
kind, but the visit was not agreeable: it was awl.:ward. I rc- 
turned his visit last ,veek, and enjoyed being in his society. 
I talked ,vith him as guardedly as I could ,vbile using any 
degree of fran1.l1ess and cordiality. I could not consent to 
postpone lllY visit to him, as I had reason to believe that his 
coming to see lne was providential, to assist me in the mattcr 
in which I am laboring, viz., to ascertain the Catholic Church. 
I asked him several questions concerning the Papal su- 
premacy, ,vhich he answered very readily and ,vith great 
Ability. lIe gave me some assistance in pursuing lny in- 



92 


ME:MOIR OF 


. 
quiries, and I promised to see hin1 again before long. I caIne 
away feeling better for having been with hhn, and ,yith a 
heavy conviction on my mind ho\v little share I had in the 
blessing of the pure in heart. 
" I find very little tirne to study. The duties \vhich devolve 
upon lne take so ll1uch of IllY attention, that I could :find it 
in Il1Y heart to throw them up, \vere I not advised otherwise 
by the bishop. Besides, I know that it is only by hUlnility 
and obedience and fidelity tbat \ve can arrive at the truth. 
o Dw'ight! again I ask your prayers in my behalf, especially 
for earnestness in seeking the truth, to l1Jake the holy vow, 
'I will not clhnb np into my bed, nor suffer illY eyelids to 
tàko any rest, uutil' I havB an obedient spirit to obey God's 
v\,Till, directly it is Inàde knov\Tn. 
" The course of Church ll1atters is to U1e increasingly un- 
satisfactory. The anti-Papal movement has placed the 
Church of England on decidedly \vorse ground, if indeed _it 
has not bound her to that decision, on rejecting \vhich her 
Catholicity seems to be suspended. I do think that, after all 
that has happened, for bishops and people to be crying up the 
royal supremacy looks like accepting that supremacy to 
the full extent to \vhich it bas lately been claÍIned. ,V hat 
did you think of }y[r. Bennett's course 
 To say the truth, I 
\yas not satisfied with his letters, though I felt a sYlnpathy 
,vith the Ulan. Pray can you tell me ,rhat groullJ there 
s 
for the assertion that Archdeacon 1rlanning and ],11'. Dods- 
,vorth have resigned and are on their ,yay to J ernsaleln 
" 
:: 
"': 

:.. tf" "" -h 
, * * * -:f 
SOlne thue after this, 1\11'. Baker ,vas appointed rector of 
the ne,v parish of St. Lu1{e's, \vhere he relnained until he 
gave up the Protestant ininistry, that is, for about t"TO years. 
During his rectorship he removcù to a pleasant rcsidence 
near tbo site of the church, and elnployed hÍIuself in building 
a tasteful Gothic church, which he proposed to finish and 
decorate in accordance with his o,vn idea of ecclesiastical 


'. 



REV. FR.A.SCIS .A.. BAKER. 


Ð3 


. 
propriety. It ,vas only partially cOlnpleted at the time he 
left it. His next letter to 1\lr. Lyman, ,vho was no,v progress- 
ing rapidly to,vard the Catholic Church, and urging for,vard 
his slower footsteps, is dated 


" Tuesday in Holy TVeel", Ap'l'ill5, 1851. 
" I read your letter ",-jth a grcat deal of C1110tion, and ,,-as 
prolllpted to sit do,,"n and say a ,vord in rcply imlnediately ; 
but as I havc gonc to St. Luke's, there ""yere some duties de- 
vol ving upon me ,,-hich took up Iny tilue IDore than is usual 
,,-ith me. You Inay be assured of lny synlpathy in much 
that you feel and express. I do think that the statemcnts of 
.L\.1lies's book are of a kind ,,'hich ought to Inake a profound 
iInpression upon us, and ,,-hich ought to 1110dify very lnuch 
the feelings ,,-ith ".hich .we have been taught to regard the 
Ronlan conllnunion; and I do think honestly that our Church 
i" at prcsent ill a Iniserable condition, and that no good can 
come of denJing it. A.s you say, it becomes at such a time a 
very solemn question, in vie,v of eternity, u'hat we ought to do. 
. My dear Dwight, I think I fLln sincere when I sar that to 
TIle the ",-ay of duty seems to take pains and make such an 
investigation as I can into thc. question upon which the 
claim of authority rests, and to abide by the result: 1110an- 
,,,"bile to live in prayer and upon such catholic truth as ,vo 
are pern1Îtted to hold, imploring God to take pity upon us, 
and to look upon his distracted people. II. recomnlcllc1ed 1110 
a treatise on the suprelnacy by the brothers Ballerini, l)ut I 
find that I do not read Latin .with such facility as to reap the 
full benefit of the perusal of such a "york at present. I have 
therefore taken up JCenrick on the PrÏ1nacy. With regard 
to m
r duties as a lninister, I have thought it right to be di- 
rected from ,vithout, and I was passive in accepting St. 
Luke's, which was strongly urged upon me. Surely ,ve n1ay 
hope that if ',,"e Ütithfully and devoutly, and in a spirit of 
humilitÿ and obedience, ",.ork with our intention constantly 


".,. 


" 



94 


MEMOIR OF 


directed to God's glory and the salvation of souls, lIe ,vill 
bless and guide us. It was a comfort to me to think you re- 
membered me and my difficulties in your Lenten exercises, 
and I assure you that you have been constantly ren1embered 
by your perplexed friend. I feel afraid of myself and of my 
own heart-afraid of taking a wrong step, afraid on account 
of my past sins, afraid ,vhen I look for\vard to the judgment 
of our dear Lord; and you may be sure that I find prayer my 
greatest comfort, the belief in the intercession of our 
Blessed ]\10the1" and the saints in heaven, as ,veIl as in the 
value of the supplications of Christians on earth, a source of 
real strength. Pray for me, my dear friend, that I may be 
enabled sincerely to appeal to God and say that His Church 
is the first object of my heart, and that I may be diligent 
and studious and obedient to His grace and to conscience. 
" I see the English papers constantly, and they are full of 
interest. "'tVe kno,v not what is before us; these are heart- 
stiITing times, and we can but adore t.he counsel of God by 
which we were born ill them, and anxiously seek to take the 
right course amid so many perplexities. I have recently read 
Dr. Pusey's letter to the Bishop of London. I t is a very ablo 
letter, and one calculated to rouse the feelings of the Catholic- 
minded men in England. I confess it made lne feel lnore 
hopeful. 
"If it is 01tT duty to remain where we are, it is a noble 
thing to be called to labor amid so many discouragements, and, 
surrounded by temptations, to keep the Catholic Faith whole 
and inviolate! Every day I feel a stronger repugnance to 
Protestantism, and a determination by God's help to carry 
ùut my principles consistently; but with regard to the Roman 
Catholic Church, I do not see ho,v intellectually it can dis- 
pense with the tlleory of development, and I feel a strong 
suspicion of that theory. I went to see II. again, but he ,vas 
in N ew York, and will not be back until after Easter. 
"I feel that I am in a difficult and dangerous situation, but 


It 



REV. FRANCIS A. .BAKER. 


95 


I have the comfort of knowing that I haye the advice of the 
bishop to do as I anl doing; and if I can be sure of God's 
blessing, by watchfulness and. strictne5s and faithfulness I 
may yet be happy. I have written confidentially, and aU 
about myself, but you will forgive me. The bell rings for 
prayers. Good-by.:" 


"Augu8t 4, 1851. 
" You will be anxious to. know the impression made upon 
IllY lllind by ,vhat I have been reading on tho Roman Catho- 
lic question. On the whole, many difficulties that lay in the 
,yay have been removed, and the claims of the Roman See 
appear far nlore strongly supported by antiquity than I had 
ever qreamed of before. Kenrick's is, I think, a very strong 
book, although it has a very apologetic air; JTot there ,vas a 
great deal in it "hich seemed to me very forcible. But the 
book which made altogether the most decided impression on 
my mind ,vas' The Unity ùf the Episcopate.' The l)'pincijJZe 
of }lnity ,vas there unfolded in a way that was new to Ine, 
and which I think does a,vay ,vith a ,,'hole class of passages 
(and they the strongest) which are usually alleged against 
the Papacy. ,* * * 
" I find my greatest 
Tant to be the want of earnestness and 
a spiritualluind. 
Iy dear Dwight, this is not cant. I "Tant 
you to pray tbat G-od would not take Iris IIoly Spirit fi'onl 
Ine. I desire above all tbings to be a Catholic, and I an1 
resolved by God's help not to give up the present investiga- 
tion until.I anl satisfied about my duty, which at present I 
am not, but very, .very much harassed and perplexed. May 
God in his good time grant us both to see clearly the ,vay we 
ought to take. I saw H. a few weeks ago, and had a pleasant 
.. 
intervie
. lIe thinks it possible that he will leave Baltimore 
in September. I have sometimes felt lately as if a decision 
of the great question was not far off. Oh, that it may be a 
,,'ise and true decision !" 



96 


MEMOIR OF 


A few weeks after writing this letter, },fr. Baker came very 
near making a decision to give up his ministry and place him- 
self under the instruction of a Catholic priest. His cOllvic- 
tion ,vas not yet fully matured, or his doubts quite removed, 
and the \visest course would have been for him to have gone 
into a complete retireluent for a ,vhile, in order to complete 
his studies, and allow his mind and conscience tÏ1ne to ripen 
into a decision. lIe comInunicated his state of mind to the 
Lishop, and was so far ovelTuled by hÍ1n as to consent to 
wait a while longer, and postpone his decision. He informs 
his friend of all that took place at this crisis, in a long and 
deeply interesting lett
 of tbirteen pages, from which I shan 
only make a few extracts. It is dated November 11, 1851, 
and. is full of affection, of sadness, and of the tremulous breatb- 
ings of a sensitive, delicate conscience, deeply troubled by 
anxiety and fear, almost ready to seek repose in the bosoln 
of the Church, but driyen back by doubt to struggle yet 
longer with adverse winds. 
lIe says at the beginning of his letter: "First let me thank 
you again for your expressions of kindness and affection. I 
assure you I thank you for theIn, and feel that they, to- 
gether ,yith the friendship which has lasted so long, give you 
a claim on my confidence and love. Nor have I been un- 
mindful of the claim, for I have constantly thought of you, 
and often invoked God's aid in yom
 bebalf; and if I have not 
,vritten often, it is because I am myself in great perplexity, 
and feel the responsibility which attaches to every word, 
uttered at a tÏIue like this 3 on subjects which concern the sal- 
vation of ourselyes and others also. This was Iny feeling 
when I last wrote. I felt as if I "anted a little tpecollection 
before I could write as I ,vished on some point.,; and as I "as 
then much occupied, I deferred writiñg fully until some other 
time. llowever, your letter to-day demands an imn1ecliate 
ans\ver, and I proceed to give you an answer to your in- 
quiries, and a faithful transcript of my feelings, and pray 



$. 


REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


97 


God that yon lnay receive no injury froln onc 'who would du 
yon good." . 
lIe states the rC5ult of his studics quite at length, sUlnluing 
it up in these ,vords, ,vhich I qnote as an accurate index of 
the degree of conviction he had at that ti111e reached: 
" The result of DIY thought and reading last SUlunler "Ya
 
to strengthen lny ÍInprc8sion that the claÍ1ns of the Roman 
Catholic Ohurch on the obedience of all Christians are di- 
vine. I cannot say I felt perfectly as?ured." 
After descriliing his inter\riew with the bishop, and in- 
forming his friend that he had consented to wait, he says: 
... I think I agreed to this fron1 the feal: of offending God, and 
fi'om that alone. As to the fro,vn of the world, I do not 
think it decided me, for I had looked the consequences of the 
act full in the face, and had accepted then1. I was the 1110re 
ready to wait, because I could not say Iltad no douút of the 
propriety of secession." 
The sequel of the letter and of its ,vriter's history sho,,'s 
that this doubt was not a rational doubt, but a morbid irreso- 
lution and timidity of mind, ,vhich Q.ught to have been disre- 
garded. Consequently, in giving ,yay to it, he simply fell 
back into a state in which he had just to go over again the saIne 
ground, and this discouraged and disheartened hinl, as he 
frankly acknowledges. . "I felt a sense of relief, partly, I be- 
lieve, from having opened my mind, and partly, I suspect, at 
finding that the sacrifice to w.hich I had looked. forward ,vas 
not then demanded. But when I considered the matter, I 
saw that I was just ,vhere I was before, with the whole ques- 
tion before me and resting on my decision. From week to 
.week I have been willing to postpone looking lny position in 
the face, seeking to excuse myself to my conscience by the 
plea of the many unavoidable ..demands on my time and 
thoughts which a new parish and a church just commenced 
seem to make; although I feel that the danger of such a 
course is that I may sink into a worldly, indifferent thing, 
5 



98 


:MEMOIR O}
 


seeking in the praise of IHen a reward for lny treachery to 
God. I have seen H. but once since I SR\V the bishop. The 
visit was n10re constrained, because I felt I ought not to be- 
tray my feelings; indeed, I 'would not go to see H. unless I 
were afraid of resisting SOlne design ,vhich God Inay have 
forlned for me-because the intercourse has not been of my 
seeking, and this appearance of deceit and double-dealing is 
dreadful to me, and makes me feel as if I w'ere guilty. 
"I have not read any thing since my interyicw ,vith the 
bishop. 1.1y plan is to wait and seriously consider ,vbat I 
ought to do. I need not tell you I am not happy. I an1 
free from many of the annoyances which distress you, as I 
read no R. C. papers, and scarcely any of our own, and have 
no associate. I strive to live by the rule recommended by 
Dr. Pusey, and am almost as luuch isolated fron1 Protestants 
as if there ,vere llone in our COITIillUnion. I believe most 
firmly in the Sacrifice of the .Mass, in the Real Presence, in 
the Veneration of Relics, il! the 1tlediation of the Saints, and 
especially of St. 
fary. I constantly beseech God to hear her 
supplications in my behalf, and only do not invoke her be- 
cause I am not sure of the authority for doing so. I believe 
also in Purgatory. My difficulties are on the subject of 
Church authority and the Supremacy. 1\Iy sympathy in doc- 
trine, my reverence for the holy men who have gone out 
from us, 'lny st1"ong prepossessions in ja7)OP if the R07Jlan 
CatlLolic Ch1.u'clL, tt(}hicl
 llave never left me at an!! period rrf 
my life, and the distress among us, all dra,v me to RaIne; 
but the single question I ask myself (or strive to do so) is, 
,vhether any of these things ought to decide me, and whether 
the point of inquiry ought not to be-What is the Church 
 
Partly on account of IllY position, and partly, dear Dwight, 
on account of grave deficiencies and sins in myself, I feel that 
I am full of inconsistencies, contradictions, apparent insin- 
cerities (perhaps real), presumptuous and fearful at the same. 
time, tossed with tempest, and not comÍ(\rted, not fully per- 



BEY. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


suaded in ll1Y o"Tn lnind, anù not bending aU J11Y cl1ergies 
to become so. .And no\Y, my dear D\vight, I lwxe only opened 
1ny heart to J ou, 1fithont at all thinking of the effect it "90uld 
bave upon Jon. SiInply seeking, as in duty bound, to deal 
".ith JOu as a fricnd, I have let JOu somcwhat into )uy heart- 
only SOllle-\vhat, for I deeply feel that to a full unùel"ßtauding 
of ll1Y state of feeling, even in reference to thi
 subject, it 
w'ould be needful that I should kneel dO'Vll anù lnunbly con- 
fess (as it would be a comfort to do) all tlle many offenses 
in worù and deed of a sinful and tangled life. I Lave hunl- 
bled myself before you. I know not how it shall be hereafter 
between us, how differently yon 111ay soon look upon lue from 
what you l1ave been used to do; but, whercver JOu are, think 
of rue as a sinner and a penitent, and as one 'who desires and 
needs your prayers. * 
<- * 
" .i\.nd now, 1ny dear friend, I ùo not think of any thing else 
,vhich I ought to say to you, but to reciprocate the earnest 
hope and the conviction that JOu expre

, that God .J..'\.lmighty 
may enable us toglinc)' to have an abode here in that ..L1rk 
which He has set up as the place of safety and peace in a lost 
world, and may gi ve us togetlu J
 an entrance into IIis Presence 
forever. May lIe of His undeserved mercJ grant it.
' 
During the .winter of 1851 and 18:5
, ]'1r. Baker "Tas very 
much occupied with church-building, and al::;o ".ith the cares 
and anxieties of il1ness and death in his falnill, and his at- 
tention was thus clraw.n awaJ ill a measnre from hÏ1nself and 
from the question of the Church. 
His next letter of interest ,yas "'ï"itten in MaJ, 1852, ccm- 
municating the intelligence of the death of his aunt and of 
his brother: 
"I bave no doubt that you have thought Jour kind and 
patient letter deserved an earlier answer, but I have been 
greatly and particularly occupied ever since I received it 
When it came, Aunt E. ,vas very in, and our anxiety about 
her continued to increase until she was taken from us on the 


99 



 



. 


100 


1IEMOIR OF 


31st of January. Immediately after, dear Alfred began to 
decline rapidly, and after an interval of some ,veeks of great 
suffering on his part, and of ,vatching and sadness on ours, 
he too was taken on the Dth of April (Good Friday). You, 
\vho knew thenl both, and knew ,,"ha1 place they held in our 
hearts, can imagine the greatness of the bereavelnent, and the 
depth of our suffering. God has supported us Inercifully, and 
I heartily thank HÌ1n that I have so great a solacc in think- 
ing of the character of our dear departed ones; and it is at 
such times that I feel the consolatory nature of the doctrine 
of the communion of saints, and the comfort of the practice 
of praying for the dead. To you, ,vho kno"\v so much of Iny 
feelings, I ,vill not deny that the uncertainty which rests upon 
the question of the Church has disturbed the fixedness of my 
hope and faith during this sorro,vful winter, but I have not 
been able to advance in its investigation. I no,v propose to 
resume my studies as regularly and as perseveringly as my 
duties will permit. You are much and often in lilY thoughts, 
and often do I wish that I could do by you the part of a faithful 
friend. You always have a part in Iny pra:rers, and it would 
bo to me a great happiness to have the assurance one day 
that my friendship has not been without SOlne benefit to you. 
I assure you I prize it, and I feel Inorc strongly that I have 
more in common ,vith you than ,vith anyone else "Tith ,vhom 
I cOlnmunicate. I have not the heart nor indeed the time to 
write more." 
"Septe7r/;bel' 15, 1852. 
" I caIne away from Columbia with many pleasant, affec: 
tionate thoughts about you, and grateful recollections of 
your kindness, and you have often been in my l11ind since 
my return. You will be glad to learn tþ.at my little jaunt 
,vas of decided service to l11e. I Lave been improving in 
health ever since my return, and no"\v feel quitc ,vell. I sup- 
pose by this time you have been on to tbe North and have 
returned, and, like myself, are now quietly settled down to 



REV. FR.AKCIS 
\. B.\KER. 


101 


your duties. I founù nlY sisters llluch bencfited by their 
trip to the sea-shore, and our little household ha
 again re- 
sumed its accustolued habits. I need not tell yon, de
n' 
Dwight, how glad I shall ùe if you ".ill cons8nt to COlne on 
now and pay your prolnised visit. You 11light comë fit the 
beginning of the week, and I ,yould go and take YOlU' Sun- 
day duties (choose a Sunday when service is all day at Co- 
lumbia), and then I would return on Monday to be .with JTou 
at h0111e another week. I cannot promise to do you good, but 
I can offer you, at least, "That you will nut receive el:
e"There, 
- true and affectionate synlpathy. I do Inost deeply feel for 
you in your anxieties, and in luuch, in very lunch, I feel 
with JTou. I felt ,vhen I was with you, my ùear friend (now 
my only friend), as if the difference bet,veen us ,vas thi
 : 
that you had really come to ClI conclusion, while I ,vas still 
of a fearful and divided n1Ïnd. I felt as if there was SOlne- 
thing dishonorable and disgraceful in sHch a state of inde- 
cision, while there ,vas an appearance of lnanliness in your 
boldness and determination, and I was ashatp.ed of myself. 
Besides, I found myself sOlIletiules taking the anti-Rolnan 
side in argull1ent ,yith you, and then I ,vas yexed with my- 
self for doing 'what I did nowhere else, and what I could not 
do heartily anywhere, and I seemed to n1yself insincere. I 
do not know ",
hether you can understand lne, but I ,vant 
you to understand my feelings; for I do not ,,,ant JTou to 
think I aln insincere, and I felt so much obliged to yon .when 
you told me that you said to II. that you did not think IUC 
so. I believe uncertainty often carries the appearance or 
insincerity; and uncertain I own lIlyself to Le, fun of sad- 
ness, full of doubt. 0 D,,-ight, what is there in such a 
situation to make one renulÎn in it, if one could conscien- 
tiously leave it 
 \Vhat could hinder me from being a Ro- 
man Catholic but for the fear of doing ,,-rong? I assure 
you, that as regards this world I bave not a hope or desire, 
and there is nothing earthly which I could not part ,yith 



102 


MEMOIR OF 


this night. Nothing seen1S to Jue worth living for but the 
knowledge of the truth and the love of God; and that position 
in which I feel I should be the happiest ,vould be ",
here I 
should be ce
ptain ,vhat was truth, and could live a life 
hidden from the world vdth God. I feel concerned at find- 
ing myself writing so much about 111yself, and in such a 
strain; but I think, in reading over the letter, you will under- 
stand ho,v I came to do it, and will pardon it. 
"
have been reading lately pretty systematically on the 
Roman question. De 
Iaistre and Lacordaire I have fin- 
ished, and will return them to you if you wish them. They 
are both philosophical rather than theological, and from tnat 
fact, as well as frOln the French way in which they are writ- 
ten, I think they ,vill be less influential ,vith persons 
brought up in the school with you and Ine. I thought the 
remarks of De J\faistre on the temporal po,ver of the Popes 
not near so forcible as those in Brownson's Review. Thomp- 
son seems to me now, as he did before, a remarkably cogent 
and attractive writer. I have not finished his pamphlet as 
yet, but feel very much interested in it. I have procured 
Balmez, and Newman on Anglicanism, but have not yet 
read them. When I was in Philadelphia I saw 
Ir. -. 
He called on Manning when he w'as in London, and had a 
very interesting interview. lrf. is about to pu11ish another 
edition of his book on the Unity of the Church. I should 
indeed like to see it, or any thing else that CaIne from his 
hand. * 7:. * 
"God bless you, my dear friend; write to me fully and 
freely as. of old, and be sure of the affection of your friend, 
, " F. A. D." 


"Ash Wednesday, 18.33. 
* * *" The general tone of your letter, too, was 
sad, and that also fell in with my own feelings, for you may 
be sure that the stirring event of the last month bas not 



REY". FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


1(\3 


1)een ,vithout a great effect on lHe, agitated as I was before 
by so many serious doubts. 'V ell, anotllt'r Las gono, and 
that the Inost elninent of the party with ,vhich you and I 
have bpen identified, and )TOU anù I relnain a
king still \yLat 
we are to do! To me the question has been of late and is 
no",'" one of absorbing anù pressing importance, and yet I do not 
know how to answer it, and in IllY perplexity can do nothing 
but pray-pray, as I have done IlIOSt earnestly, for directiun 
from 011 high; and my cOlnfort, dear Dwight, i::; to kno"T that 
you also pray for me. 'Vhat I ,vant is the heart just to 
stand waiting God's bidding, and, ,vhen that is given, to act 
without delay or taking counsel ,vith the flesh. I should 
so much like to see Bishop Ives"s Reasons, ,,,hich I suppose 
,vill in some way be published. -:: * .): I received the 
first number of a ne\Yspaper fi'om N e,v York, the Clilll'clt 
Journal (,vhich is most vociferously anti-Roman). - is one 
of the editors. By the way, - is also connected with 
this paper, and -. I felt sorry to .think of \vLat a dif. 
ferent spirit they once were; and yet, if the Church of Rome 
be not \vhat she claims to be, the position of sllch lnen as 
Bishop Whittingham is the right one, and ours is untenable. 
However, I cannot but o\vn that I have a dra,ving to\vard 
the Roman Catholic cOlnmunion so strong that, if I were to 
be without it, I should feel as if I \yere not myself. I have 
not thought it right to go by this feeling, but it is very 
strong, and I confess I feel envious of Bishop I ves, \vhen I 
think of him in his new home-a feeling which I often have 
in reference to dear H., whúm I loved and reverenced so 
truly. (By the way, H., I hear, is either at present in Bal. 
timore, or is about coming here, to conduct a 'mission' in t]le 
Cathedral.) I often feel afraid, my dear Dwight, in writing 
on such subjects, of doing wrong in expressing-my feelings 
and thoughts, and of doing you harm; but after all, it seems 
not improper for friends such as we are to speak without re- 
serve, and perhaps I have done so too little. 



104 


MEMOIR OF 


"I have been reading a good deal lately. * 
l: 7: The articles 
on CJprian (by Dr. Nevin) were indeed nlost ]uasterly, and 
seemed to me to express the true doctrine of antiquity as to 
the primacy of the ROlnan See. They have cali.8ed a good 
deal of speculation on my part. I do not see how the "'Titer 
can fail to become a Roman Catholic. I did not tell you 
,yhat I thought of Ne,vman's book; it ,vas full of power, 
lnany most capital hits and brilliant passages, and, ,vhat is 
better, satisfactory explanations oÎ difficulties. The eleventh 
lecture seemed to me the least successful, and I o,yn, even 
after reading it, the position of the Greek Church, based on a 
theological theory not unlike that which is advocated by 
Anglo-Catholics, and Inuch the same (as Brownson seems to 
think) with that held by lllany ROll1an Catholics, does seem 
to me a difficulty. Balmez, too, I have proceeded SOlne 
way with, and am luuch interested in. 
"I thank you for Brownson very n1uch. I have read the 
number you sent me, and it has set me to thinldng. His 
positions are bold and require some reflection; and though I 
find in him the consistent expression of lnuch that I think I 
always believed, yet he presents Inany ne,v ideas to me. * * 
" Adieu to-night, my dear Dwight. l,Iny the blessing of 
IIeaven be with you." 
This was the last of these sad epistles-these outbreathings 
of a pure and noble, but troubled spirit, enveloped in the 
obscure night of doubt, and seeking wearily for the light of 
truth. It was written on the first day of Lent; and when that 
Lent had passe
 by, the clouds of mist had lifted from around 
the soul of Francis TIaker, never to return. Before he wrote 
again to his dear friend, tbe coup de-yrace had been given. 
The blow was struck suddenly and effectually, and the ne,ys 
of it came unexpectedly, with a startling and ahllost stlmning 
effect upon his friend, through the following brief and abrupt 
communication- 



REV. FR.ANCIS A. BAKER. 


105 


" BALTBIOP.E, April 5, 1853. 
,. My DEAR DWIGllT :-The decision is made: I hayc resigned 
n1Y parish, and an1 about to place Inysclf un dcI' instruction 
preparatory to my being received into the Catholic Church. 
I can write no more at present. ]}Ia.r God hclp you. 
" Your aftcctionato fi'iend, 
"FR..lliCIS .L't. D...\.KER." 


This letter was followed by another, written thrce days 
after, in reply to one froln l\[r. Lyman. 


":illy DEAR DVaGllT :-11. 'was cruel in n1C to writc 50 briefly, 
but if you knc,v what a press of duty came upon 111e just at 
once, you ,,
ould pity me, and indced now' I am in such a 
confusion, that it takes SOlne courage to write a line. TIut, 
my dear friend, you have been so great a hclp to me, that it 
would be "\vorse than heathen in Ine not to gi \?e you one ,vord 
of explanation. I decided to 5ubn1it to the Catholic Church 
last Sunday night, and ga\e in lIlY resignation to the vestry 
on last Tuesday lllorlling. I went to the archbishop, and 
to-morrow I make my profession in S1. ..L\.lphonsus' Church, 
before only t,vo "\vitnesses, the least the rubric requircs. This 
was in cOl11pliance "\vith the advice of the Bishop, ,yho did 
not think it well to give unnecessary publicity to the act. 
Plain and sufficient arguments had long enough been addressed 
to my mind, but my conversion at last I o,,
c only to the grace 
of God. It ,vas the gift of God through Pl:ayers, an(1 no"V," 
I can say' Nunc Dimittis '-for' I believe, 0 God! all the 
Holy Truths which Thy Catholic Church proposes to our 
belief, becáuse Thou, lilY God, hast revealed them all; and 
Thy Churèh has declared them. In this faith I desire to live, 
and in the same, by Thy holy grace, I an1 Illost firmly re- 
solved to die. Amen.' 7
 .:
 -i
 
"I shall prepare for the sacraments next ,reek, but beyond 
that, I have fOrIned no plans. 
5* 


. 



106 


:MEMOIR OF 


" 
Iy dear Dwight, I feel that I have too long resisted God's 
grace, and it will be one of the sins which I lllust now repent 
of. God by I-lis Illerciful kindness did not suffer me to be 
abandoned, as, indeed, IllY resistance of IIis grace deserved, 
but kindly pleaded 'with me, and I am no,v at the threshold of 
the kingdom of God. Come with us, dear Dwight, come; 
God's time is the best time. 
Iay OlU. Lord bless you and 
direct you. Y onrs affectionately, 
"FRANCIS A. BAKER." 


This closes the correspondence of 1\11'. Baker ,vith the dear 
and valued friend of his youth and manhood, previous to his 
reception into the Catholic Church; and I haye postponed the 
continuation of my narrative in order to con1plete my extracts 
fi"om it, and leave the writer to tell his own touching story 
to the end. 
1,Ir. Baker's conversion was the logical sequence of his 
former life, both intellectual and spiritual; it was the result 
of the accumulating light of the eleven preceding years, 
concentrated and brought to a focus upon the practical ques- 
tion of duty and obligation. The particular events which 
immediately preceded it, were like the stroke of the hammer 
on the mould of a l)e11, already completely cast and finished 
beneath it, and waiting only the shattering of its earthen shell 
to ring out with a clear and musical sound. "The just 1U/l'n 
. 
is the accuser of liÍ'inself," and 111'. Baker, whose deep humility 
made him unconscious of his own goodness, in the first vivid 
consciousness that the light which had led hinl to the Catholic 
Church ,yas the light of grace, could no longer understand 
his past state of doubt, and reproached himself for it, as a 
sinful resistance to God. It is 110t necessary, however, to 
suppose that there was any thing grievously culpable in that 
state of doubt and hesitation. 
He ,vas right in attributing his final decision to the effica- 
cious grace of the IIoly Spirit. But t]lis grace was only the 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


107 


. 
last of' a long series of graces ,,'hich haù prepared him to 
l o eceive it. It did not change, but only perfected hi:; habitual 
disposition of n1Ílld. It produced a crÜ
is and a transfonuation 
in his soul, but it ,vas one to ".hich a long and gradual process 
had been continually tending. It was not a luiraele, or a 
sudden revelation. Careful thought and reading, and the 
assiduous cultivation of hi
 spiritual facultie
, had brought hÏ1u 
to the apprch
nsion of all the data of a rational judglTIent 
that the Catholic Church is true. The apparently suùdell 
nloment of deliberation and decision ".as but the successful ef- 
fort of the mind and ,vill to come into the certain consciousnes;;; 
of the truth already fairly proposed, and to deterlnine to follo,v 
it. It ,vas a supernatural grace which made this effort success- 
ful, and elevated the just conclusions of reason to the certi- 
t"ude of faith. But it ,vas not a grace "hich superseded reason 
or dispensed ".ith the reasonable grounds anù evidences of an 
intellectnaljudgmentand the motives of a just determination. 

Ir. Baker must have been drawing near to a decision dur- 
ing the 'whole of Lent; for his mind ,vas cvidentl.r n10re deeply 
and earnestly bent on coming to it, when I saw him ill 
Easter Week, than ever. lIe called on m0 on the Friday 
e\ening of Easter w: cek, and his Inanner ".a5 much changed. 
His anxiety of mind broke through tbe reserve he had hereto- 
fore maintained, and instead of the guarded and self-con- 
troned manner he had preser\ed in former interviews, he 'was 
abrupt and outspoken. .At the very outset, he expressed his 
feeling that the question of difference bet,veen us was one of 
",ital ÏInportance, in regard to which one of us must be deeply 
and dangerously in the "Wrong, and desired to discuss th0 
matter ,vith me fully. I suppose his intention ,vas to see 
me Inore frequently than he had done, to open bis Inind more 
fully, and to get from me all the help I could give him in 
making up his mind. We had a pretty long conversation on 
theological points, without going into the discussion of 
fundamental Catholic principles. The truth is, Mr. Baker 



108 


MEMOIR OF 


had already mastered t.hese principles, and was really set- 
tled in regard to every essential doctrine. He had no need 
of further study, but rnerely of an effort to shake off that kind 
of doubt which is a lnental weakness, and perpetually revolves 
difficulties and objections which ought not to affect the judg- 
Inent. The one particular point which we discussed 1110st was 
in reference to some passages in the writings of St. Augustine 
concerning the doctrine of Purgatory-a doctrine which he had 
clearly stated his belief in, t"...o years before. I ans\vered his 
difficulty as well as I could at the time, promising to examine 
t.he matter lllore fully the next day, and to give hÏ1n a written 
ans\ver, which I accordingly did, but too late to be of any 
service to hÏ1n, as the sequel will show. I left him with a 
strong Í1npression that the crisis of his mind was at hand, and 
for that reason engaged all the 1nelnber8 of the comn1unity to 
pray for him particularly. After leaving ll1e, he calIed on a 
young lady who was very ill, and had sent for him to visit her. 
This young lady, who died happily in the bosom of the Catho- 
lic Church a fe\v \veeks after, had already sent for one of the 
reverend gentlemen of the Cathedral, and expressed to him 
her desire to become a Catholic, but had consented, at the 
request of her.family, to have an interview with Mr. Baker 
before receiving the sacraments. 'Vhen he came to her bed- 
side, she informed him of her state of nlind, and asked him if 
he had any satisfactory reason to allege ,vhy she should not 
fulfil her wish to be received into the Catholic Church before 
she died. lIe told her that he regretted very lnuch that she 
had chosen to consult with him on that point, as there ,vere 
reasons why he must decline giving her advice on the subject. 
She conjured him to tell her distinctly what he thought" and 
he again replied that he w"as not able tð say any thing to her 
on the subject. She looked at him earnestly, and said, " I 
see how it is, Mr. Baker; you are in doubt yourself." 
'Vith- 
out saying another word, he left the rOOln and the house, 
transpierced with a pain which lle could neither endure nor 



RE'T. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


lOf) 


rfnnove. lIe turned his steps toward the Cathedral, and 
"alI\:ed around it severalthnes, like one not kno,,'ing ,,-here to 
go, and then returned to his home and his study to relnain in 
solitude and prayer, through several anxious days and sleep- 
less nights. lIe ""as no,v face to face ,yith the certainty that 
he dare not prolnise to anyone e1::;0 security of salvation in 
the Episcopal Church. Yet, he w'as a Ininister of that Church, 
and was trusting his own salvation to it. To relnain in such 
a. position longer had become impossible to a conscientious 
Inan like him. Nevertheless, he went through the duties of 
Sunday, and again read prayers in his church on the :Thlon- 
day and Tuesday mornings. lIe ha:::; been c
nsured for this, 
by some, as if he had acted a hypocritical part, but most un- 
justly. Certainly, if he had asked my advice beforehand, I 
should have told hÌIl1 that he had no right to do it. But the 
reader of this narratiye wiU see that his O'V11 conscience had 
been frequently overruled on the question of exercising tlle 
ministry in a state of doubt, and on Sunday he was still in 
this state, undecided what to do. lIe diù not actually give 
in his resignation until after prayers on Tuesday 1l1orning, 
and any candid person \vill surely adnlÎt that he ,vas excusable, 
in the agitation of the moment, for thinking that it ,vas better 
to fulfil the engagements he ,vas under to his people until the 
last moment, when these consisted nlerely in reciting a forll1 
of prayer w'hich is very good in itself, and contains nothing 
contrary to Catholic doctrine. 
On. Tuesday, the 5th of April, 1\lr. Baker ga\Te a letter of 
resignation to the vestry of St. Luke's Ohurch, called on Dr. 
Wyatt, ,vho \vas the administrator of the diocese during the 
bishop's absence in Europe, and then 'went to see the arch 
bishop. When he ,,?as admitted to the presence of this vener- 
able and saintly prelate, he threw hÍInself on his knees before 
him, and in accents and words of the most profound humi1ity 
made his submission to the Catholic Chure}), and implored him 
to receive him into her bosoln. The archbishop, who knew 



110 


MEMOIR OF 


bin) ,veil by sight and by reputation, arose in haste from his 
chair to raise hÍIn fi'om his knees, in a fe,v warm and affec- 
tionate words ,velcomed hiln to his elnbrace, and begged him 
to be seated by his side and to cahn himself. It was with 
difficulty that he could induce him to do so, for the barrier in 
his soul that had held it icebound for so long had given way: 
a torrent of repressed emotions was swelling in hìs boson1, and 
after a mOlllent he burst into a flood of tears, the gentle and 
good archbishop weeping with him from sYlnpathy. After a 
long and consoling conversation with the archbishop, he came 
over to St. Alphonsus' Ohurch, 'which is near the Oathedral, to 
see me. ' 
I was making a retreat tbat day, and ,vas walking in the 
garden, when a message was se
t me by the rector to go to 
the parlor to see Mr. Baker. As soon as he sa,v me, he said, 
abruptly, "I have come to be one of you." I invited him 
inside the inclosure, and he, fancying I Inisunderstood his 
words to imply that he was ready to join our religious con- 
gregation, answered quickly, "I do not mea.n that I Vish to 
become a Redemptorist, but a Catholic." "I understand that," 
I replied; "let us go to the oratory and recite a Te Deum of 
thanksgiving." We did so, and then walked in tbe garden to- 
gether for a short time. The first time I ever saw an expression 
of real joyfulness in his countenance was then. lIe was ahvays 
placid, but never, so far as I could see, joyous, before he becallle 
a Catholic. To my great surprise, he chose me as his confessor. 
I left the time of his reception to himself, and he chose 8atur 
day, the 9th of April, which was the anniversary of the death 
of his brother Alfred. On Saturday morning, I said J\Iass in 
the little chapel of the Orphan Asylum of the Sisters of 
Charity. Father IIeckeI', who was present, on account of the 
approaching mission, accompanied me to the chapel. After 
Mass, 1.11'. Baker Jl!.ade his profession, according to the old 
form, containing the full creed of Pins IV., and I received 
him into the bosom of the Church. No others were present 



REV. FRAYCIS A. BAKER. 


111 


besides the good Sisters and their little children. lIe had 
been baptized by Dr. 'V JTatt, and the archbishop decided 
that there wa::; no rea::;on whatever for his being conditionaHy 
rebaptized. I perforlned the supple1llentary rites of baptisln, 
such as the anointing \\.ith holy oil and chrisll}, the giving of 
the white garment and lighted candle, etc., at his o\vn re- 
quest, ill the sacri
ty of the Cathedral, after his sacralllental 
confession ,vas completed. This sacred act ,vas aCCOlll- 
plished in the archbishop's library. During the "Teek after 
his reception, and on the Third Sunùay after Easter, .Ll pril17, 
he was confirmed in the Cathedral by .Llrchbishop I\:enrick, 
and received his first communion from his hand. 
The conversion of 
Ir. Baker llw.de a great sensation in 
Baltinlore, and "hereter he \yas kno\yn. It \yas announce] 
in the secular papers, and for SOIne ,yeeks à lively ëontroversy 
arising out of it was kept up. It was the general topic of 
conversation in all circles, Catholic and Protestant. The 
sorrow of his own parishioners, of those who had loved and 
honored hiln so lnuch ,vhile he ,\ as connected wi th St. Paul's 
parish, and especially of his more near and intimate friends, 
was very great. His own near relatives, and a certain nUlllber 
of his intilnate friends, never ,vere in the least alienated fron1 
him, but remained as closely bound to Lim in affection as ever, 
while they and he lived. The great majoritJ of those ,vho had 
been his adlnirers, and who had listened ,vith delight to bis elo- 
quent preaching, always retained a great respect and esteem for 
him; and during his whole subsequent life, he almost invari.. 
ably won a regard from those of the Protestant conllllunity 
".ho were acquainted \rith him, second only to that of the 
Catholic people to whom he ministered. There ,yere some 
exceptions to this rule, however. A few persons wrote to 
him. in the most severe and reproachful terms. The usual 
pitiable charge, that his religious change ,vas caused by 
mental derangement, was lnade by those whose "Tretched 
policy has always been to counteract as nluch as possible the 
influence of conversions to the Catholic Church by personal 


. 



112 


MEMOIR OF 


calumnies .against the converts. lIe ,vas sometimes <..,penly 
insulted, and llluch more frequently treated with coldness 
and neglect. Notwithstanding the respect ,\"ith ,,
hich so 
many still regarded him in their hearts, he ,vas cOlnpelIed to 
feel that he had becolne, in great measure, an alien and a 
stranger in the c0111munity ,vhere he had been born and bred. 
In a short till1e, his duty called hin1 away from his native 
city, and, sOlnewhat later, fronl his own State, into a distant 
. part of the country. All the old associations of his early liÎe 
were broken up; he had no longer an earthly home; and 
until his death he had, for the most part, no other ties and 
associations except those which were created by his religious 
profession and his sacerdotal office. 
Some six or seven persons were received into the Church 
soon after his conversion, three or four of whom were his 
parishioners; and some others may bave been at a later period 
partly influenced by his example. But none of his intimate 
and particular friends were among the number, with the ex- 
ception of his old and bosom friend and associate in the 
ministry, .:Thlr. Lyman. His name and influence faded away, 
and were forgotten anlong the things of the past; while he, 
ha ving bidden farewell to the world and taken up his cross, 
followed on after Christ, tow.ard the crow.n he "ras so 
oon to 
,vin, and was lost to the vie,v of those among .whom he had 
lived before, in the dust of the cOlnbat and labor of an ardu- 
ous and obscure missionary career. 
It is not to be supposed that 1\11'. Baker could hesitate long 
as to his vocation. lIe had in his youth dedicated himself to 
the ministry of Christ, but had mistaken a false claÏ1nant of 
delegated power to confer the character and lnission of the 
priesthood, for the true one. Nine years had been spent, not 
uselessly; for the good example and eloquent instructions of a 
wise and virtuous man are always salutary; and he had been 
slo,vly preparing himself by the feeble light and imperfect 
grace which he had for the perfect gifts of the Catholic 



.. 


REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


113 


sacramf\nts. He ,vas no,v thirty-three years of age, in the 
füll blooln of his natural po,vers, ,vith all his holy aspirations 
and purposes ripened and perfected, ,vith a thorough kno,vl- 
edge of Catholic theology, excepting only its speeially tech- 
nical and professional branches, ,vith all the habits suited for 
a sacerdotal life ful1y established. The only doubt of his 
vocation in his own mind 'vas one of hUlllility, alid ,vhcn this 
,vas settled by the decision of his confessor and ûf his bishop, 
his course was clear before hÎIl1. He lnight still have cho;;e
 
to remain in his o,vn home and f
unily ","hile preparing for 
ordination. lIe Inight have remained in his native city, or 
in the diocese, as a secular priest, secure of the n10st honor- 
able and agreeable position "Thich the archbishop could be- 
stow upon him, ,vhere he could have enjoyed all those 
domestic comforts and elegancies to which hè ,vas accustomed, 
together with the society of the beloved n1enlberö of his finnily 
,vho still relnained, ,,"ithout in any ,vay interfering 'frith 
his proposed career as a devoted priest. lIe chose differentlJ', 
however, and froln the prolnptings of his own soul, which 
instinctively chose ,vh3.t ,vas. most perfect. }'Iy religious 
brethren and myself useù no solicitations to induce hinl to 
join us. His original desire for the religious life gave him a 
bias toward the regular clergy. 'Vhat l1e sa,v of the little 
band of American Redemptorists, and of the lnission which 
was given at the Cathedral, captivated his heart with a desire 
to become one of .their number. He thought of one thing 
. only-w'bat ,\Tas the "Till of God, a
d the most perfect ","ay 
open to him to sanctify himself and others in the priesthood 
His mind ,vas soon n1ade up on this point. lIe applied to 
the Father Provincial of the RedeIllptorists, who received him 
,vithout hesitation. He settled his affairs as speedily as pos- 
sible, and began his novitiate at once. .As soon as the prop- 
er tin1e arriyed, he divested himself of all his property for 
the benefit of the surviving members of his fan1ily. nis 
library he gave to the congregation, by whom it was after- 



114 


MEMOIR OF 


. 
,yard kindly restored to him, and is no\v in the possession of 
the Paulists at Ne,v York. Iris only aim and desire, froIl. 
this time forward, was to acquire the perfection of Christian 
and religious virtue. Forgetting all that was behind, he 
pressed for,vard to those things which ,vere before, ,vi th a 
fixed aim and a steady, unfaltering step. lIe dropped into 
the position of a novice and a student so easily, and ,vith 
such a perfectness of humility, that it seemed his natural 
and obvious place to be among the youths and young men 
who were with hhn. lIe was the favorite and cOlnpanion of 
the youngest alnong them, and, it is needless to say, the de- 
light and consolation of his superiors. After one year of 
novitiate and his profession, he continued for two years lnore 
studying dogmatic and moral theology, with the other acces- 
sories usually taught to candidates for orders. During this 
time he lost his amiable and excellent sister, Elizabeth 
Baker, to his great sorrow. Although his ordination was 
postponed much longer than is usually the case ,vith men in 
his position, already so ,veIl prepared by their previous intel- 
lectual and moral training for the priesthood, he ,yas not in 
the least impatient at the delay, and his long preparation gave 
him the advantage that he was ready at once to undertake 
all the most difficult and responsible duties of a matured and 
experienced priest. Besides this, he acquired that thorough 
and Ininute theoretical and practical knowledge of the cere- 
monies of the Church, and of every thing relating to the divine 
service of the altar and the sanctuary, for ,vhich he ,yas 
afterward distinguished. TIe came out of his long retire- 
ment a workman thoroughly and completely furnished for 
his tàsk, and imbued through and through with the spirit of 
the Catholic Church. I seldom saw him, and never exchang- 
ed letters with him, during all this period, each of us being 
absorbed in his own particular duties anti occupations, at a 
distance froln the other. As the time of his ordination ap- 
proached, ,ve were both of us, however, again in the same 



. 


REV. FRAXCIS A. BAKER. 


115 


House, that of St. ...llphonsus, in J3altiI110re. It ,vas in the 
sun1n1er of lS:5G that he finished his studies, and, haviug son10 
time before received the minol
 orders, began Lis retreat pre- 
paratory to being admitted to the three holy orders. During 
the retreat, his companion, F. V ogien, an amiable and holy 
young religious-,,-ith hÍ1n and the 'saintly prelate ,,-Ito 
ordained them, now, I trust, in heaven-,vas full of dread and 
apprehension, often ,,-eeping, and even entreating his superior 
to Postl)one his ordination. With Father Baker it ,vas other- 
wise. 'V1ile I was in the church, during tl1e cyening, e111- 
plo
red in the exercises of my o,vn retreat, I often heard him 
singing the most joyful of the ecclesiastical chants in the 
garden, and his placid, palo face was lighted up ,,-ith the 
radiant joy of a 'Soul approaching to the consulllination of its 
holiest and most cherished wishes. lIe was orùained sub- 
deacon and d
acon in St. 1.Iary's Chapel during the ,yeek 
before the Sunday fixed for his ordination to the priesthood. 
On Sunday, September 21, 185G, he "as ordained priest by 
.A.rchbishop Kenrick, in the Cathedral. The 
rchùi
hop cel- 
ebrated Pontifical 
Iass, the reverend gent1elllen and semillar- 
ists froln St. Sulpice assisted, and the clergy were present 
in considerable numbers, among them his old friend, 1.11'. 
Lyman, already a priest. Everyone who knows "'hat thf' 
Cathedral of Baltimore is, and how the grand ceremonies of 
the Church are performed in it, will understand how beauti- 
ful and inspiring was the scene at Father Baker's ordination. 
The great church was crowded to its utmost capacity, but it 
was by Catholics only, dra,,"n by the desire to see one who 
had sacrificed so much for their own dear faith. Father 
Baker, as he knelt ,vith his companion at a priedieu, dressed 
in rich and beautiful white vestments, after receiving the 
indelible character of the priesthood, to offer up ,vith the 
Archbishop the IIoly Sacrifice of the 
Iass, looked Inorê like 
an angel than a man. The holy and benignant prelate shed 
tears of joyful emotion when he embraced him at the close 


. 



116 


MEMOIR OF 


oi' the ceremony, and there was never a more delightful re- 
union than that ,ybieh took place on that day, ,vhen tbe 
clergy Illet at the archbishop's table, to participate in the 
modest festi yities of the episeopal11lansion. .1\. few days after, 
}Ir. Lyman, Father Baker, and lllyself, celebrated a solemn 
Votive 1\Iass of Thanksgiving at St. Alphonsus' Ohurch, for 
the signal grace ,ve had received, in being all brought to 
the cOlnmuriion of the Holy Ohureh and to her priesthood. 
IIere began the sacerdotal career, bl'ief in tÏ1lle, but rich 
in labors and results, of Father Baker. He remained in 
BaltÏ1nore a few weeks, to celebrate his first 
Iass, and ini- 
tiate himself in quiet retirelnent into his new priestly life 
and functions. The first fruit of his ne,v' priesthood ,vas a 
convert to the Catholic Church, a young ,vidow lady of 
highly respectable family, "Tho was bred a Unitarian, 
and ,vho had been ,vaiting three years to b
 received into 
the Church by Father Baker. lIe baptized her and her two 
children, a few days after his o"\\Tn ordination. Soon after he 
began the 11lissionary career, in which the greatest part of 
his subsequent life was employed. 
It may not here 1e amiss to digress frolll the personal his- 
tory of Father Baker, long enough to gi
e some account of 
the nature of those missions in which he "was henceforth to 
take so conspicuous a part, and of their introduetion into this 
country. In - doing so, I shall describe more particularly the 
method adopted in those missions with .which I have been 
myself connected, without noticing any others 'which lllay 
differ in certain details; and this will suffice to give a correct 
iùea of all missions, so far as their general spirit and scope is 
concerned. 

Iissions to the Catholic people have been in use for cen- 
turies in various parts of Europe. They are generally given 
by the lnerilbers of religious congregations specially devoted 
to the ,york. The missionaries are invited by the pastor of 
the parish, with the sanction of the bishop of the diocese 



REV. FRAXCIS A. B.ARER. 


117 


from whom they receive their juri,diction. The exercises of 
the mission consist of a regular series of serIllons and instruc- 
tions, continued for a nUDlber of days, and s01l1etin1cb for 
t

o wceks in sncces::,ion, t
9ice or oftener in the day. The 
course of instructions, ,vhich is given at an early hour of the 
morning, enlbraces familiar and plain but solid and didactic 
expositions of the conllnanthncnts, sacra1nents, and practical 
Christian anù moral duties. The course of SCrlTIOIlS, given 
at night, includes the great truths which relate to the eternal 
destiny of man, which are presented in the nlost thorough 
and eiliaustive manner possible, and enforced 'with all the 
po".er witÞ. ,vhich the preacher is endowed. Several of 
Father Baker's mission sermons arc included in the collection 
published in this volume, and ,vill serve to exhibit their 
peculiar style and character. Frequently, the ulder children 
receive separate instruction for about four da
9
 in succession, 
closing with a general confession and communion. After 
the mission has continued a few days, the cOllfes
ionals arc 
opened to the people, and communion is gi yell every lnorning 
to those who are l)repared to recei Ye. A. t the close of the 
mission the altar is decorated with :flo'wers and lights, a bap- 
tislllal font is erected, the people renew their baptismal YO\VS 
after an appropriate sermon bas been preached, and arc di8- 
missed with a parting benediction. The sacrifice of the 
Ias
 
is offered up several times every n10rning, accçn'ding to the 
number of priests present;. and before the evening sern10n 
there is a short p
efatory exercise, which, in the Paulist 
Missions, consists of the explanation of an article of the 
Creed, follo"Wed by the Litany of the Saints. After sermon, 
the :ßIisere1'e or some other approl)riate piece is sung, and 
the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament is given. 
All this is very simple, consisting of nothing lTIore than 
the preaching of the Word of God, the administration of the 
sacraments, and the performance of acts of w.orship and 
prayer, as these are ordinarily practised in the regular rou- 



118 


MEMOIR OF 


tine of the Catholic Church. All that is peculiar and 
unusual consists in the adaptation of the preaching and 
instructions to the end in view, and in the daily continuity 
of the exercises. The object aÏ1ned at is to present in one 
cOl11plete view all the principal truths of religion, and all the 
essential practical rules for living virtuously in conforn1Ïty 
'viih those truths, and to do this in the most comprehensiye, 
forcible, anq. intelligible manner. The class of persons for 
,vhose benefit Inissions are primarily intended is that portion 
of the Catholic people least influenced by the ordin
ry 111inis- 
trations of the parochial clergy, although all classes, even the 
b3st instructed and lnost regular, share in the benefit. All 
necessary available means are used to R\vakcn an interest in 
the mission and to secure attendance. When this is done, 
continuous daily listening to instruction and participation in 
religious exercises prevents the Ünpressions received fro III 
passing a,vay, the people become more and more interested 
and absorbed, and are carried through a process of thought 
and reflection upon all the most mOI11entous truths and doc- 
trines, ,vhich is for tle111 equivalent to a thorough education 
of the mind and conscience. The general instructions given 
in public are applied to the individual soul by the confessor 
in the tribunal of penance, as the judge of guilty and the 
. physician of diseased and wounded consciences. Sin and 
guilt are ,vashed away by sacramental absolution froll1 all 
who are sincerely penitent; their souls, purified and restored 
to grace, are refreshed and strengthened by tbe Body and 
Blood of Christ in the IIoly Eucharist, and the debt of 
temporal punishment due to the justice of God is removed or 
lightened, in proportion to the intensity of contrition and 
divine love excited in the soul by its o\vn efforts to sècure 
the grace of God, through the indulgences conceded by the 
supreme power of the Vicar of Christ. 
The earlier sermons are directed to the end of fixing the 
mind on the supreme importance of religion, and alarming 



HEV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


119 


the conscience in regard to t:;in. .....\.fter'vard, special vices 
are denounced, particular dangers and temptations pointed 
out, those duties ,vhich are most neglected are brought out 
into bold relief, and every effort lnade to produce a thorough 
refonuation of life. To,vard the close, the scope and aÌln 
of the serlllons are to animate and encourage the heart and will 
by appealing to the nobler pas
ions and the higher 1110tives, 
to awaken confidence in God, to portray the eternal re\vard
 
of virtue and point out tbe ll1eans of pcrse'Tcranec. .1\.11 that 
can impress the sensos and imagination, suLdue the heart, 
convince the reason, and stimulate the ,,,Till, is ùronght to 
bear, in conjunction ,vith the supernatural efficacy of the 
word and sacraments of Christ, upon a peuple full uf faith 
and religious susceptibilitJ T , unùer the luost favorable cir- 
cumstances for producing the greatest pos
ible effect. 'Vhere 
faith is impaired, the effect is not so certain, ëlnd slower and 
more tedious means have to 1e adopted, 'with 10:3-' hope of 
success, to restore the dJing root of all religion, or replant 
it ,,'here it is cOlnpletely dead. It is moreover certain, 
although it may not be evident to those 'who are destitute of 
Catholic faith, that tbere is an c\:traordinary grace of God 
accompanying the exercises of the lnission; and this ,vas so 
plain to tbe mind of an earnest Episcopalian clergyn1an inN ew 
England, on one occasion, that it led hilll to study seriously 
the subject of the Catholic Church, the result of ,vhich ,yas 
that he became a Catholic, at a great personal sacrifice. 
Public retreats had been given froln tÏJne to time in the 
.U nited States, by the Jesuits and others, before the series of 
Redemptorist Missions was commenced. This series, 'which 
began at St. Joseph's Church, N e'v York, in April, 1851, ,,'as, 
however, the first that ,vas f?'ystematically and regularly 
carried on by a band of missionaries especially devoted to the 
work.. Since that thlle, the number of missionaries, belonging 
to several distinct congregations, has increased, and the 
missions have been multiplied. The principal merit of inaugu- 


a 



, 


120 


MEMOIR OF 


rating this great and extensive work belongs to F. Eernard 
IIafkenscheid, ,vho ,vas forlnerly the Provincial of the Re- 
demptorist Congregation in the United States. F. Bernard, as 
he ,vas always called, on account of his unpronounceable patro- 
nymic, had been for twenty years the most eloquent and suc- 
cessful preacher of missions in his native country of I-Iolland 
and the adjacent Low Countries. Born to the possession 
of ,vealth and all its attendant advantages, but still more 
blessed with a most thorough religious training and the grace 
of early piety from his childhood, he receiyed a finished 
ecclesiastical education, which he con1pleted at ROlne, where 
he was honored with the doctoråte in theology. After 
his ordination, he devoted hiInself to the religious and lnis- 
sionary life in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, 
in which he speedily became the 1110st elninent of all their 
preachers in the Low Countries. He was able to preach the 
word of God ,vith fluency and correctness in three languages, 
besides his native tongue: French, German, and English. 
But it was only in tbe Dutch language that he was able to 
exhibit the extraordinary powers of eloquence with whicb 
he ,vas endowed, and which made his name a 110usehold word 
in every Catholic family in Holland. IIis picture was to be 
seen in every hou
e; the highest and lo,vest flocked ,vith 
equal eagerness to hear him, and, on one occasion, thE! king 
himself came to the nvent to testify his respect for his 
apostolic character by a formal visit. II-is figure and coun- 
tenance ,vere cast in a mould as large as that of his great and 
generous soul, and his whole CD aracter and bearing ,yere 
those of a man born to lead and command others by his 
innate superiority, but to command far more by the magnetic 
influence of a kind and noble heart than by nuthority. 
Father Bernard brought with hÍ1n to the United States, in 
March, 1851, two American Redemptorists, \vho had beel 
stationed for some years in England, and had scarcely 
landed in New York "hen he organized a band of mis- 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


121 


siollaries, to COlnn1ence the English Inissionl::;. During nearly 
two years, he took personal charge of D1allY of those Inissions, 
,vorking in the confessional ii'om t,vel ve to sixtecn hours 
every day, occasionally preaching "Then the ordinary l)reacher 
broke down, and iu::,tructing the J
oung, illcÀ-pcricllced father3 
IlI0Bt 
areflÙly in all the lnethods of giving sel"lnons and 
instructions, and other\vise conùucting the exerci:3cs of the 
Hlission in the hest anù mO:3t judicious luanncr. Father 
Bernard received Father Baker into the congregation, but 
soon afterward "
as recalled to Europe, 'v here, after a long 
and laborious life spent in the Facred "
arfarc, he is resting in 
the quiet repose and peace of religions 
ecluf'ion. * 
The superior of the English Missions, in the absence of Ii
. 
Bernard, and after he ceased to direct them personally, was 
another Father ,,
ith an unpronounceable name, F. Alcxan- 
del' Cvitcovicz, a Magyar, ,vho "
as ahvays called Father 
Alexander. It would have been Í1npossible to find a supe- 
rior 11101'e cOlnpletely fitted for the position. .A.1though he 
was even then past the meridian of life, and had been in 
former tin1es the Superior-General of his Congregation in the 
United States, he cheerflll1y took OIl himself the hardest la- 
borB of the missions. It "
as not unusual' for hinl to sit in 
his confessional for ten days in succession, for fifteen or six- 
teen hours each day. IIe instructed the little children who 
were preparing for the sacraments, and sometÏlnes gave some 
of the morning instructions, but never preached any of the 
great sermons. In his governlnent of the fathers who were 
under him, he was gentleness, consideration, and indulgence 
itself. In his O'Vll life and example, he presented a pattern of 
the most perfect religious virtue, in its most attractive form- 
without constraint, austerity, or moroseness, and yet without 
relaxation from the most strict ascetic principles. He was 
a thoroughly accomplished and learned man in many 


* Since the above was written, the news has been reéeived of the death of 
Father Bernard, from the effects of a fall while descending from the pulpit. 
6 


..... 



122 


MEMOIR OF 


branches of secular and sacred science and in the fine arts; 
and in the German language, "Thich "as as familiar to him 
as his native language, he ,vas among the best preachers 
of his order. He designed and built the beautiful Church of 
St. Alphonsus, in Baltimore, although he ,vas neyer able to 
complete it according to his o,yn just and elegant taste. For 
such a man to take upon himself the drudgery of laborious 
missions, aided, for the most part, by young ITlen in delicate 
health, incapable of enduring the hardships of old, ,veIl-sea- 
soned veterans, was indeed a trial of his virtue. He under- 
took it, however, cheerfully, and we ,rent through several 
long and hard Inissionary campaigns under his direction, 
until at last we left hÜn, in the year 1854, in the convent at 
New Orleans, worn out ,vith Jabor, to exchange his arduous 
missionary,vork for the lighter duties of the parish. Father 
Alexander was succeeded in tbe office of Superior of English 
Missions by Father Wahvortb, one of the Alnerican Redemp- 
torists, who accompanied Father Bernard from England, 
and who continued in that office until, with several others, 
he ,vas released froln his connectio 1 ,vith the congregation 
by a brief of the IIoly Father, in order to forn1 'a new 
society of missionaries. 
There has never been a finer field open to Inissions than 
the one which is found in the Catholic population of the 
United States, and seldom has there existed a greater need 
of them. The J\fissions of St. Alphol1sUS Liguori, the founder 
of the Redemptorists, and his cOlllpanions, ,vere confined to 
villages, hamlets, and outlying districts, relnote from episco- 
pal cities and large towns. In bis rules he directs his chil- 
dren to labor in places of this sort, because in Italy the most 
neglected and necessitous part of the people is only to be 
found there. In this country it was not so. The great need 
for Inissions laJ in cities and large to\VIlS, \vherc dense 
Inasses of Catholics were gathered, and ,yltere churches, 
clergy, and religious organizations of all kinds, were inade- 
quate to the spiritual wants of the people. A large part of 



REV. FR,iNCIS A. BAKER. 


123 


the missionary ,york which has been accomplished has been, 
therefore, among those dense Inasses of the people in our 
largest churches and congregations, penetrating to the low"- 
est strata, and bringing to bear a powerful religious influence 
upon the Illost uninstructed and negligcnt classes of the peo- 
ple. Some idea of the extent of this work Inay he gained 
frOln the fact tbat the missions gi,-en by the corps "hich }". 
Bernard organized, during seven years, ii.oIn 1851 to 1858, 
were eighty-six in number, \,ith an aggregate of 16ü,000 
communions. - They have been carried on on a. similar scale, 
since that time, by the ne,,- Oongregation of St. Paul, and by 
membel.s of scveralolder religious societies; so that, in tbe 
last seven years, the number of persons \\'110 have parti- 
cipated in the bcncfits of Il1isÛons is, probabl
r, nearly 
double the figures given abo\e. There \\
ere other n1Í
:ÚollS 
also givcn, during the first period, besides those enu1l1erated, 
especially alnong Gennans. It is, therefore, speaking \\'ithill 
bounds to estimate the nUInber of persons who have recei ved 
the sacraments on n1Ïssions, since IS31, at 500,000. 
This is, ho\yever, much less than might have been dOlle, if 
the nUlllber of Iuissionaries and the facilities for attending 
their missions had been greater. Our Catholic population is . 
a "Vast sea, where the successors of the apostolic fishers of men 
may cast their nets perpetually, \,ithout e,er exhausting its 
abundance. In large towns, the population is so fluctuating 
and so continually increasing, that the \,ork needs to be per- 
petually renewed at short intervals. There are also immense 
difficulties in the "ay of the poor people. The maES of thelll 
belong to the laboring class, and are, therefore, obliged to 
eome to church very early, before their \\-orking bours, and 
again at night, after their 'work is done. Tbey baye no 
leisure, and can with difficulty rescue even the few hours 
necessary for listening to the instructions they so much need. 
Hence, many of them can get only as it were by snatches, 
here and there, a sermon or instruction during the course. 
In factory towns the case is ,vorse. Were it not for tbe ac- 



124 


:MEMOIR 0]' 


commodation usually granted by the overseers, in shortening 
the time, and giving leave of absence, it would be impossible 
to give missions to the operatives in Inal1Y of our factory 
villages. Our 1110dern systein of s.ociety leaves out of the 
account the wants of the soul and the duties of religion. 
For many, there is even the hard necessity of working all 
night, and all Sunday. It is, therefore, difficult enough for 
our poor people to attend a 111ission well, 1vhen there is plenty 
of room for them in the church, and a good chance of going 
to confession "ithout ,vaiting longer than a fe"\\T hours. Very 
frequently, however, in our large and overcro"\vded parishes, 
the church will not hold-even "\\
hen cro,vded to suffocation 
-more than from one-fourth to one-half of the parishioners. 
The churcb is frequently filled two hours before the time of 
service. The porch, the steps, the windo,,
s even, are crowded, 
and hundreds go a way disappointed. It is easy to see "hat 
a drawback this is to the success of a mission, wþich re- 
quires a continuous attendance at all the sernlons and in- 
structions, and to the stillness and order in the church 'v hich 
are necessary to enable all to hear distinctly, and to reflect on 
what they hear. I have seen at least four thousand persons 
congregated in the streets adjacent to the New York Cathe- 
dral, besides the crowd inside. - 
Another difficulty lies in the vast nunlber of penitents, and 
the slllall number of confessors. On ll1any nlissions, con- 
fined strictly to one parish, there have been from four thou- 
sand to eight thousand cOlnmullions; and, of course, that 
nUlllber of confessions to be heard "\\Tithin eleven days. At 
a recent mission of the Redemptorists, in N e,v York, there 
were eleven thousand communions; and at one given a Jenr 
or two ago, by the Jesuits, twenty thousand. Ordinarily, the 
number of confessors has been inadequate to the ,york. 
The people have thronged the chapel "V;There confessions were 
heard, from four o'clock in the morning until night, often 
waiting an entire day, or even several days, before they 



HEV. FRA.....l\""CIS A. EAKEn. 


125 


could get near a priest. At five in the 1110rning, eaeh of us 
"\yould see tw-o long ro,ys-one of n1e11 and one of "-01uen- 
seated on benches, flanking his confessional. .At 0110 o'clock 
he ,,,"ould leave the same unbroken lines, to find thell1 again 
at three, and to leave thOl11 in the e
-ening still undinlÏnished. 
At the end of the nlission there 'Yrould be still the san1e 
crowd ,,,"aiting about the confessionals, and left unheard, be- 
cause the lnissionaries ,vere unable to continue their \\Tork 
any longer. More than one-half these people would be per- 
sons ,vho had not been at confession for fiye, ten, or hyenty 
year.:;, and of these a great nUlnber had seldun1 been at churelt, 
and stilllnore rarely heard a sermon. Hundreds upon hun- 
dreds of adults, of all ages, have received the sac

lln.ents for 
the first tÎ1ne upon tbese n1issions, D1any of ,,-hOll1 had to be 
taught the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation, ,,-ith 
the other elementary articles of the Creed. I ha ye sev
ral 
times, at the close of a D1ission, seen a row of gro,yn-up Loys 
seated before H1Y confessional, of that class ,,-ho roa1ll the 
streets, loiter about the docks, and sleep out at night, unable 
to read, and scarcelJ able to tell ,rho l11ade them, lnuch less 
to ans,ver the question, Who is Jesus Ohrist 
 They had 
come to be instructed and prepared for the sacraments, swept 
in by the tide which was moving the waters all around them. 
Of course, they needed "\yeeks of instruction and of moral 
preparation, to rescue them from the abyss of ignorance and 
vice in "hich they were sublnerged, and n1ake them capable 
of Ii ving like rational beings and Ohristians. 'Vith SOlne of 
them, a beginning may be made, and the gernl of good 
planted in their souls. nut many have to be left as they 
come, because there is no provision which can be made for 
their instruction. In a word, the nets are so full of a IllUI- 
titude of fishes that they break, and there are not ,vorlnnen 
enough to drag them ashore. The work is too overwhelming 
for the nunlber and stI:ength of those who are engaged in it. 
In this respect, some missions which have been given in the 



126 


MEMOIR OF 


British provinces, have been the 1l10st complete and satisfac- 
tory of any. In St. Patrick's Church, Quebec, the yast size 
of the building enabled all ,vbo desired to do so to find 
r001n. Nineteen confessors were on duty, and others were 
appointed to instruct converts or ignorant adult Catholics. 
All who wished to go to confession were easily heard, ,,
ith- 
out long ,vaiting, or the" accumulntion of a great crowd of 
wearied and eager penitents pressing around the confessionals. 
It was tbe same in St. John's, ,\?here the Archbishop of IIali- 
fax and a large body of clergymen ",rere hearing confessions 
constantly, althougb, even \vith this püwerful aid, the 111is- 
sionaries broke down under the labor of preaching every day 
to six thousand or eight thousand persons in the great Cathe- 
dral Chu;ch, which had just been opened for service. In 
these places, bo,vever, the nUlnber of the people, though 
great, had a lhnit ,,'hich could be reached, and tbe requisite 
number of priests were easily at the command of the bishop. 
In the United States, ho"rever, the work is out of all propor- 
tion to the nUlllber of priests ,vho are either specially de- 
voted to missions or who can be called in to aid these in their 
labors. The n1issionaries are too few to do the work alone, 
and the parochial clergy are too much engaged in their own 
duties to be able to give much of their tÎ1ne to additional 
works of cbarity. If it were possible to give l11issions simul- 
taneously in all the churches of N e,v York City, and if they 
could contain all tbe people, it "ould be easy to collect one 
hundred thousand Catholics together every night to hear the 
Word of God, and to bring frolIl one hundred and fifty 
thousand to t
.,.o hundred thousand to c01nmunion ,vithin fif- 
teen days. In proportion to the population, the stnne results 
would be produced ev
rywbere in the United States. It 
would require the labor of one hundred lnissiouaries, during 
eight years, to give n1issions thoroughly to our entire Catho- 
lic pòpulation. At their comlnencelnent, bo,vever, and for 
some years after, there were but six or eight, and there fire 



REV. FRAXCIS A. BA KER. 


127 


now', pro baLl), not nloro than t\yeuty priests continually em- 
ployed in this ,york. The neces8ity it)r it is, nevertheless, 
quite as urgpnt as it ever has been, and the benefit to be de- 
rived froln it inconceh"'ablc. There arc the vast masses of 
people gathered in our great centers of population, exposed 
to a thousand demoralizing influences, anù 11108t inadequately 
supplied \vith the ordinary nleans of grace. An that has 
been done for them hitherto, is but ju::;t sufficient to develop 
the inunense need there is for doing more, and the great bless- 
ing that attends every effort to do it. Of eourse, the luain 
reliance of the Ohurch is, and al ,,"'ays must be, upon the 
bishops and parochial clergy', and I have not had the slight- 
est intention, in any thing I have !Said, to exaggerate the Ï1n- 
portance of the special work of Ini::;sionarie::;. The episcopate 
and priesthood ",'ere established by Jesus Ohrist IIimself, and 
are absolutely essential to the very existence of the Church. 
Religious congregations are of ecclesiastical in::;titution, and 
are only auxiliary to the pastoral office. The multiplication 
ûf churches and of priests engaged in parochial duties is the 
most pressing need, and in no other \vay can the spiritual 
wants of the people be adequately provided for. It will be 
long, however, before the bishops will be a1)1e, even by the 
most strellu
us exertions, to make the nUlllber of churches 
and clergymen keep pace \,ith the increase of the population. 
Mean while, this lack of the ordinary means of grace cannot 
be supplied except by missions; and even \vhere these means 
are amply provided, tbe subsidiary and extraordinary labors 
of societies of priest
 devoted to special apostolic works are 
necessary, in order to give their full efficacy to the ministra- 
tions of the ordinary pastors. 
Besides our great towns, and their dense mass of Oatholic 
population, there is another extensive field of mlissionary 
work, which bas of late years 1een successfully cultivated, 
and which invites still further cultivation with a pronlise of a 
rich harvest. I refer to the numerous ne\v parishes found in 



128 


:MEMOIR OF 


the smaller cities and country towns and villages. Here a 
lle\V phase of Catholic life and gro"wth has COllllllenced. The 
population is beconling settled and permanent. Catholics arß 
making their way upward, acquiring real and personal pro- 
perty, blending "'\vith the body of their fellow-citizens, educa- 
ting their children, and to a certain extent themselves belong 
to the second generation of Catholic emigrants from Europe, 
having been born and married in this country. In many 
instances, one pastor has two or III ore of these parishes to 
take care of. His time and thoughts are taken up with 
church-building and a multitude of other necessary duties. 
The country around is sprinkled over \vith Catholics, who 
have no resident priest among them. There is a vast alllount 
of w.ork to be done in instructing, confirming in the faith, 
bringing under religious and moral influence, and establishing 
in solid piety and morality, this interesting and hopeful class 
of Catholics. J:\owhere have the missions been so complete 
and satisfactory as in parishes of this kind. The \yhole body 
of the people living in the place ,vhere the church is, can 
attend the sermons and receive the sacfanlents. Besides these, 
those living several miles away flock to the church as regu- 
larly as if they lived in the saIne street; and even from a 
great distance, lllunbers, who are usually deprived of the reli- 
gious advantages of the Church, perhaps even have gro"Tn up 
"Tithout making their first cOIDlllunion, seize the opportunity 
with eagerness to come to the mission and relnain for a fe\v 
days, until they can be prepared to receive the sacraments of 
life. In :Massachusetts alone, where congregations of this 
.. kind abound, the number of communions given in the Paulist 

Iissions of the last five years, without cOllnting those given 
in Boston, amounts to twenty-five thousand five hundred and 
thirty, on seventeen distinct missions, giving an average of 
one thousand three hundred and twenty-five to each congré- 
gation. These figures are a correct index to the nUlllbers 
of tbe Catholic population in country to\vns throughout 



HEV. FR.Al
CIS Ä. BAKER. 


129 


l\Ias::mchuseth" Connecticut, New York, Penn
yIYnnia, and 
other portions of the K orthern States. 
The 111issions hithertu giyen have ùeen intended ÎInme- 
diate1y for the benefit of the Catholic people. Their inci- 
dental influence upon the Protestant cOlnmunity ought not, 
ho"\"\ever, to be overlooked. Usually, our Catholic churches 
are so crowded by the faithful, that it is at least nnple
ì
ant, 
if not aln10st impossible for others to attend our senBolls, 
especially on occasions of great interest. 1\ otyç"ÏtLstandillg 
this obstacle, thous
l1H]s of Protestants Lave come at different 
tilnes to hear the mission sermons, anù there hase usually 
been several converts on each large mission, sOlnctilncs as 
many as t"enty, and on ono mission, that of Quebec, fifty. 
IIundreds have been received into the Ohurcb, ill this ,,-ny, 
from all classes in society, among ".hom were bvo clergymen 
holding respectable positiuns in the Episcopal Church, which 
they gave up at a great ".orldly sacrifice. Besides ....Ltual 
conversions, a great effect has been produced in relno\ing the 
prejudices and gaining tho good-,vill of the cOl1nnullity at 
large. The secular papers haye alnlost unanimously spoken 
fayorably of the 111issions. In many instances, the gentlemen 
and ladies of the vicinity have sent the choicest flowers of 
their gard
ns and hot-houses, to decorate the altar and baptis- 
mal font. Not only laymen, but clergJ1nen haye often 
manifested a wish to sho,v kind and courteous attentions to 
the missionaries. V cry seldom has any thing unpleasant 
occurred, or any annoyance been experienced-much less, in- 
deed, than is encountered by lnissionaries in SOlne other part:.; 
of the world from nominal Catholics. En1ployers have fi'e- 
quently lent their servants and ,vork-people the 1nean8 of 
con veyance to the church, or exempted theu1 from a portion 
of their duties. It is ÌInpossible not to see ho,v rapidly and 
generally the prejudice against the Catholic religion and the 
priesthood is melting away in this country. And this seelns 
to warrant the hope that the time lnay soon come, vdlen the 
G* 



- 


130 


MEMOIR OF 


.. 


faith may be preached to our separated brethren by means of 
missions especially intended for them, ,,
ith rich results. 
The favorable impres:5ion already so widely produced upon 
those who have heard Catholic lllissionaries preach, proves how 
much ,ve haye to hope for in this direction. This has caused, 
in one instance, which seems to den1and some notice, an 
attelnpt to obviate this effect, by representing our manner of 
preaching as part of an artful plan of Rome, to deceive the 
minds of the people by presenting only a portion of the 
Catholic doctrine under plausible colors. After several mis- 
sions had been given in Call1bridge and TIoston, ,vhere lllany 
Protestants of intelligence attended, and l110re ,vould have 
willingly done so if there bad been roonl for them, the rector 
of a Boston church, who was l)resent several times, preached 
and published a lecture, in which be attelllpted to explain 
the real spirit and object of the Paulist Oongregation, by 
whi the missions ,vere given. The extent of the impres- 
sion made is proved by the following passage in a note to the 
lecture :- 
" One does not take pleasure in accumulating proofs that 
the Papal superstition still retains its 1nost deplorable fea- 
tures; but as long as Protestant minds are imposed upon by 
the superficial fallacy that it is parting ,vith these features, 
because its public speakers deliver adillirable discourses, it 
seems to be necessary. Undoubtedly, the order of Paulists, is 
at present a ycry efficient arm of the ROlllish service in this 
country. 
Ien say, 'Whatever IIildebrand, and the Inno- 
cents, and Torquemada may have done or said, 8llclI11J]"each- 
ing as tlds is good fop eve}"ybocly.' "* 
On page 21 of the lecture, he says: "One of the latest de- 
velopments in the policy of her propagandisn1 is the establish- 
ment in this country, with bead-quartera in our chief city, of 
a llew missionary order. The Paulists are the itinerants and 


* The R. C. Principle: a " Price Lecture," &c. Boston. Dutton & Co. 1863 
App., p. 39. 



REV. FRANCIS A. EAKEn. 


131 


re\yiY3lists of that sltl
ewd 17lotner if a([aplaòilitics, who, in 
oecoming aU things to all 111en and to all ,yomen, saw a. 
chance in America for reaping, not so luuch in the field 
,,
here her o"
n fathers, like Marquette and R.asles, as ,,-here 
Whitfield and 1\Iaffit had so"
n."- 
Throughout the lecture, the aÍ1n of the author is to shovv 
that the sound and practical preaching of the eternal truth3 
of religion, which he is forced himself to admire, and which 
,yas so ll1uch adn1ired hy lllany others, is nothing but an illu- 
sive pretence, "yhich thro\ys a deceitful halo over a system of 
superstitious forll1alisnl. 
I have not introduced this topic for the sake of a theologi- 
cal argunlcnt, but lnerely in view of vindicating the reputa- 
tion of F. Baker, whose sermons at Canlbridge 1l1ade the prin- 
cipal Ï1npression which the lectm"c ,yas intended to oùviate, 
and forestalling a prejudice ,vhich might cast a shade over tIle 
discourses ,vhich are published in this Yûltul1c. 
The author of this lecture, "\\
ho has been my personal friend 
for thirty 
7"ear8, and ".ho wrote to 1110 on the occasion of it
 
publication to express his hope that it nlÎght not interrupt 
our friendship, and all the Protestants "\\rho Inay peruse these 
pages, especially those who kno,v 1ne, will admit that I an1 
l)oth competent to explain what Catholic doctrine is, and inca- 
pable of practising any dissimulation on the subject. Thoso 
\l,yho knew F. Baker, or who may learn to kno,v hhn fron1 
reading this volume, ,,
ill also ackno\yledge that his high- 
toned mind 'was incapable of yielding to any s:rstenl of drivel- 
ing superstition, and his chivalrous spirit of descending to any 
system of artful deception by paltering ,yith words in a 
double sense. I ask them, therefore, 11ot, to accept Catholie 
doctrine as true on our authority, but simply to believe that 
the testimony I give as to the doctrine w.e have en1braced and 
preached, and our view.s and intentions in giving 111issiollS, is 
true; and that the doctrine, contained in the discourses of this 
volume, is a veritable exposition of the true Catholic faith. 



182 


MEltIOIH OF 


The missions were cOffilllenced and have been carried on 
 
for the purpose of benefiting the Catholic people. The sermons 
and instructions have been the same, in doctrine and practi- 
cal aims, with those ,vhich 'Ye
e given in Italy and other 
purely Catholic countries for centuries past. The congrega- 
tion of Paulists was not established by any act of the hierar- 
ehy here, or of the suprellle authority at Rome. It 'was 
fûrllled bJ"" F. Baker and three other Anlerican converts, in 
consequence of certain unforeseen circulllstances, and without 
any previous deliberate plan, with a sÎ1nple approbation fronl 
an archbishop, and a 111ere recognition of the validity of that 
approbation on the part of Rome. Not a word of instruction 
or direction as to the Inanner of preaching, or the end to be 
aÎ1ned at in our labors, bas ever been given by authority, but 
the movement has been the spontaneous act of the few indi- 
yiduals who began it. It is our desire, as it ll1USt be that of 
every Catholic priest, to bring as many persons as possible to 
the Catholic faith and into the bosom of the Catholic Church. 
We intend, therefore, to make use of all the means and op- 
portunities in our power to present the faith and the Church 
to our non-Catholic countrJmen, and to promote as much as 
possible the conversion of the Ål11erican people. The ðatho- 
lic Ohurch has the mission to convert the 'v hole ,vorld, and 
intends to fulfil it; and any Catholic priest ,vho does not en- 
deavor to do his sbare of the ,vork, is recreant to the high ob- 
ligations of his office. We intend to do onr part, bo'\\-ever, in 
prolnoting this great end, not by artifice or dissimulation, not 
by secret intrigues or plots, by fraud or violence, by under- 
Inining or attacking the civil and religious liberty enjoyed by 
all our citizens in co Inmon, but by argulnent and persuasion, 
by exhibiting the Church in her beauty, by prayer and good 
example, and by the grace of God: "\Ve have no reserves in . 
regard either to our doctrine or our intentions, no esoteric 
and exoteric teaching. 'Ve present the Church and the faith 
as they always have been, in all times and places, one, uni- 



REV. FRANCIS A. n
\.KEn. 


133 


versal, and Î1nmutable, in aU their essential parts. "That the 
Church and her doctrine are i:; a::;certainable by aU ,,'ho ,viU 
take pains to inforll1 themselves, and it ".ould be Ï1npossiLle 
for us to conceal it if ,ve ",'ere so disposed. All that ".e have to 
fear on this head is ignora.nce of the real truth concerning our 
principles, and the Inisrepresentation of thelu hy those whose 
knowledge of thelfi is superficial. The author of this lecture 
is one of this latter class, and has hastily and \yithout due ex- 
Q.lnination put forth his own impres;:;ions of onr doctrines and 
practices, ,vith which he is so cOlnpletely unacquainted as not 
even to perceive that there is any thing in them ".hich requires 
any careful study or thought. 
He says, p. 28: "I have heard several of the:3e luis;;ion ser- 
Inons preached. 
Iost of them \vould undoubtedly be a 81l),- 
pri8e, and an agreeable one, to Protestant cars. There was 
a sermon on 'future punishment,' ,vithout one allusion to 
Purgatory." The sernlon "as on lIeU, not on the ,vhole sub- 
ject of Future Punishment. We fonow' the laws of logic anù 
rhetoric in our serillons, and confine ourselvcs strictly to the 
topic in hand; excluding all irrelevant 111atter. .....\ny one ,\-.ho 
is surprised at a sermon Eke this, shows that he is entirely 
ignorant of the published sermons of our great preachers. 
One w'ho supposes that the place of punishment for those 
Catholics ",.ho have sinned grievously, and have not truly 
repented before death, is Purgatory, is entirely ignorant of 
Catholic theology. 
, There was a serlllon on ']'lortal Sins
' 
with scarely a reference to absolution." For tbe same reason 
given above, that the preacher stuck to his subject, and the 
instructions on the Sacrament of Penance ,yere given in the 
Inorning. "There was another, on the' Close of Life,' ,vhicb, 
from beginning to end, went to prove, in language that must 
have scorched every conscience not scared that listened to it 
,-conll'ary to all tlte cornrnon P'rotestant Í7npl'es8ions qf Ro- 
luish instruction-that there is no efficacy whatever ill any or 
nU of the Seven Sacraments to sat'e a 'wic"h:ecl Ro?nan Oatholi
 



134 


JrlEMOIR OF 


front perditio'n." Indeed! Then these common impressions 
are all incorrect. The proposition "which excites so much 
surprise is nothing but the COlnmonest truisn1, familiar to 
every child that has learned the cateehism. To admit, how- 
ever, that the lecturer found himself to have been always 
mistaken, and Protestants generally to have been under the 
same mistake concerning Catholic teaching, ,vould have been 
fatal. lie has no such intention. There is couched, under 
the language of praise which he gives to the serlnon, a con- 
cealed accusation that the doctrine of the sermons does not 
really mean "what it seems, and that the old Protestant preju- 
dice against "Romish instruction" is, after all, correct. This 
concealed arrow is launched in the next paragraph: "Slp- 
posing the fundalnental falselìood, as a whole, to stand un- 
challenged, hardly any addresses can be conceived lllore ad- 
mirably effective to a practical and useful end in the lives of 
the people." That is to say, there is a fundan1cntal falsehood 
which destroys their admirable effectiveness to a practical and 
useful end. The lecturer is making out a case against us, 
and preparing an indictment 1'i r hich shall destroy the good 
impression ,ve have made on Protestant hearers. lIe prepares 
the \,.ay by ridiculing the ceremonies of Catholic worship. 
"But at just that point not only all praise, but all sympa- 
thy stops short. To say nothing of the dreary array of pub- 
lic pantomime and incantation, sprinkling and fumigation, 
pasteboard sanctities and materialistic adoration, 'Which fol- 
lowed, and which give one a sense of mon1entary mortification 
at being a spectator at such a mixed piece of impiety and 
absurdity," &c. 
The point at ,vhich the lecturer is aiu1Ìng here clearly C01nes 
in view. All that is spiritual in our sermons, an.d that seems 
to inculcate a real and solid piety and virtue, is 111ere talk, or 
like the one genuine watch which the mock auctioneer passes 
around ,vith his pinchbeck counterfeits, to deceive his dupes 
tbe better. After a show of pure, spiritual doctrine, to furnish 



REV. FRANCIS A. ß.A.KEIL 


135 


,. a surprise, and an agreeab1e one, to Protestant ear:;," the 
_ poor Catholics are imposeù upon ,,'ith a set of outw"ard shows 
and a routine of superstitious observances, '\Thich they are 
taught to believe ,viII act upon tbCUl Ly a kind of magic 
charm, and secure theln froBl reechoing alljT damage to their 
souls and their future prospects froln their bins. 
The religious scr\'iees ,\'hieh tbc rcverend lectnrer,,'itneb
ed 
on the occasion referred to, consisted of the psahn .JIisereJ'e, 
chanted by the choir, the hYlun Tantltm E
'go, and the Bene- 
diction of the Ble
scù Saerarnent. ',hat is designated hy the 
terms" pantomime and incantation" I anl at a loss to con- 
jecture. The" fumigation" was the burning of incense, 
which was also had at the IIigh 1\Iass recently celebrated in 
Trinity Chapel hy F. Agapius. I think, also, that I have re
.J 
in the Old Testament something about cen:sers and incense 
having been prescribed by the ...\.hnighty to be UbCÙ in tbe 
"pantomÜnes and incantations" of the J e"wish ritual. "Paste- 
board sanctities" puzzled me for 3. long thne. I snppose it 
refers to the pictures blesscd at one of the morning instruc- 
tions, which the lecturer has confounded with the evening 
Rermon. 
"There were Jet, beyond all that, as one pondered, appal- 
ling absences from the teaching, and more fearful elements 
included." These strong epithets prepare us no,v to a-\vait 
tbe final and telling Llow'. First, the "appalling absences" 
are specified. "Can that be the true preaching of' the Word' 
where the language of that \\r ord so seldoll1 enters in ?" The 
reader is requested to look over a few of the sermons in this 
V.oIUl1le, and count the scriptual texts. "Could that be tb0 
true preaching of ' Christ, and IIim crucified,' where any 
mention of t1.e simple gospel story ,vas almost systematically 
shut out
" A lnere ad captandum 01jection. If the lecturer 
had heard the Creed explained throughout, be ,vould have 
heard the mystery of redemption eXplained in its proper 
place. The reader is again referred to the sermons of thi
 



136 


MEMOIR OF 


vollune for a more complete answer to this aspersion. Now 
COlne the" lllore fearful elements." -These are the merit of 
good works, the scapular, indulgences, transubstantiation, au- 
ricular confession, purgatory, and devotion to the Blessed 
Virgin and Saints. The gist of the whole is contained in the 
, . 
follo,vlng sentence:- 
"Every system luust be judged by its \yeaknesses and its er- 
rors, not merely by its better traits. They say in mechanics that 
the strength of a complicated piece of machinery is equal only 
to the strength of its ,veakest part. This is as true in a schellle 
of justification as in dynamics. Offer n,ulnan nature, at 1"tS 
own ojJtion, various ways of secltring salvation, and not 1110re 
certainly will ,vater seek the lowest spot than lTIen ,vill settle 
down to the inferior luethods of escaping the pains óf perdi- 
tion. " 
What is the point of this observation? Evidently this: 
That we propose one way of salvation, by a truly holy life; 
and another way, in ,vhich, without the trouble of leading a 
holy life, one may save hÎInself by a fe,v out\vard observances, 
a luere confession of the lips, without contrition or amend- 
ment, reciting indulgenced prayers, ,vearing the scapular, &c. 
Consequently, only a few, who are of the nobler sort, ,viII 
take the route of virtue and spiritual religion, while the n1ass 
will go on indulging themselves in all the sins to which 
they are inclined, and compound for them on the easiest terms 
they can make. Now, supposing this to be true, it recoils 
with all its force upon the one who uttered it. The \vhole 
doctrine of his lecture denies allluerit to holiness and virtue, 
and ascribes justification solely to the personal holiness and 
virtue of Ohrist, \vhich is appropriated by a naked act of 
faith. This is the Lutheran doctrine, and there 
annot be a 
lower spot for men to settle down to, or an easier ,yay for dis. 
pensing oneself froln every thing that is painful and self-deny- 
ing in the religion of the Cross. The author hin1self accuses 
(on p. 21 et seq.) nine-tenths of the New England Protesta
ts 



REV. 1!"RL
CIS A. BAKER. 


137 


3f having slid down to such a low point that they a1 g e as bad 
as Romanists:- 
,. The first question put hy about nine New Englanders out 
of ten, wben they are urged to any particular religious duty, 
is whether it is necessary to their salvation, i. e. w11ether they 
shall be paid for doing it. It is essentially a ll01nish question. 

: * Point to their censorious tongues, their narro,v judg- 
ments, their contempt of the Lord's poor, tbeir unloyely ten1- 
per, their soeial anù partisan prejudiees, their 111ean dealings 
in business, their physical and religious selfishness: they gÌ\
e 
you to understand tltat sorne time since tlte!! got into tIle a'1'k- 
?vhy should thf.-Y be o-fltríÌiep convcl'ted.9" "\Vhy should they, 
indeed, according to Luther and Calvin 1 Once obtain the 
ÍInputation of the n1erits of Christ, by faith, and you have a 
full absolution for both the past, the present, and the future, 
without confession or penance; you bave an inalienable right 
to the fruits of redemption "\\,ithout sacrifice or sacrament; you 
have a perfect righteousness and a right to an eternal re",.ard 
without good ,yorks or Inerits ; you JUt\ e a plenary indulgence 
without even repeating" a prayer ot six lin
s," or attending a 
mission; anù you will go to heaven, not on tbe Saturday, but 
on the instant after your decea
e, without a scapular. E\
en 
the fe\\'" little things that we exact fi'onl our poor, sÍ111ple fol- 
10"",'ers, as a price for bea-vcn, are dispensed ,rith. h 1Yot 71101'e 
surely will ?vater seek the lowest spot, than men will settle 
down to the inferior lnethods of escapiñg the pains of perc1i- 
tion." Let the Catholic priest tell them that they must pro- 
fess the faith and enter the communio? of tbe one true Church, 
at whatever sacrifice of pride, position, property, or fi.iends, 
and they will find some inferior method of saving their souls 
and keeping this world-if they can. Let him tell the1n that 
they must confess every 1110rtal sin, and they will settle clown 
to some inÎerior nlethod of obtaining pardon-if they can find 
one. Let him tell them that they must do penance, fast, ab- 
stain, give alms, mortify their passions, keep the commanrl- 



138 


MEMOIR OF 


Inents, work out their salvation, and, if tlley would be l Jel f'ect, 
soll all andfollo
() Cl
pist, like him .whose doctrine the author 
attempts to critieise, and they will settle do,vn to some infe- 
rior method-if they can persuade then1selves that it is at 
. their option to do so. 
"'Vhat avails it," the lecturer goes on to say, "that 
the preaching priest tells the congregation that sacralnents 
and saints 'v ill not save them, and omits to Inention the con- 
fessional, if the confessing priest tells them, as he does in this 
'book' which he puts into their hands, quoting frolll the 
'Roll1an Catechism, 
 t
at almost all tb e piety, holiness, and 
fear of God, ,vhich, through the Diyine mercy, are to be 
found in Christendom, are owing to sacramental confession 
" 
(Pp. 30, 31.) The priest does not ornit to mention the con- 
fessional, but let this pass. If there is any n1eaning in this 
query, it is, leaving aside the question about the prayers of 
saints, that it is of no avail to preach the necessity of inward 
renovation and holiness, if " sacraments" are taught to be 
the necessary means of grace. Yet the lecturer quotes, on 
p. 25, a Homily of the Church of England, ,vhich says that 
we obtain" grace and remission, as well of our original sin 
in baptism [what! saved by' sprinkling ?'J as of all .actual 
sin committed by us after our baptism, if we truly repent 
and turn unfeignedly to I-lim again." The same Church of 
England proposes also, at the option of hurnan nature, along 
with the Inethod of repenting by yourself, without extrinsic 
aid, the following "inferior method," by the confessional, 
which is pretty strongly urged on the siek man, as the best 
of the t".."O. "11ere shall the sick person be moved to lnake 
a special confession of his sins, if he feel his conscience 
troubled with any weighty Inatter. After ,vhich confession, 
the priest shall absolve him (if he humbly and heartily desire 
it) after this sort: Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath left 
power to His Church to a12s01 ve all sinners who truly repent 
and believe in Him, of his great mercy forgive thee thine 



REV. PRJL,CIS A. BAKER. 


]39 


offences: .A.nd by IIis authority cOHlluitted to Ine, I ab80l'L'e 
thee from all tli!! ò .n8: In the.K :.1111e of the I.-'ather, anù of 
the Son, find 0f the IIoly Ghost. .A.men. " 
Let us turn to the Catechislll of the Church of England, ane! 
".e shall find a little more about "sa('r
unellts," anQ. par- 
ticularly the IIoly Communion. '
Qu.- ,rhat nleanest thou 
by this ,vord SaCl'a7Jlent? A.-I nlean an outward and vi:,i- 
ble sig
 of an inward anù spiritual grace given unto us, or- 
dained by Christ llimself, as a means wlwJ'eby (we 'J'cceit'e tIle 
Sallte, and a pledge to a
sure us thereof: Qu.-Ilow nlany 
parts are there in a Sacralnent 
 Â.-T,vo: the outward 
visible sign, and the inward spiritual grace. Qu.- 'Vhat is 
the outward part or sign of the Lord's Supper 
 ..\..- Bread 
and wine, ,vhich the Lord bath COlllluanded to be received. 
Qu.- What is the inward part, or thing signified? A.-The 
body and 1100d of Christ, which are verily and indeed taken 
and received hy the faithful in tho Lord's Supper. Qu.- 
What are the benefits 'whereof ,ve arc partakers thereby 
 
A.-The strengthening and refreshing of our souls hy the 
body and blood of Chri8t, as our bodies are hy the bread and 
wine." There are SOlne " appalling absences from the teach- 
ing" of this Catechisln and" other n10re fearful clements in- 
cluded." There is Il{>t a "ord about the gospel history in 
it, or justification by faith only. It is all Creed, Command- 
ments, and Sacraments. Change" bread and ,yine" into 
" accidents of bread and ,yinc," and you have in an that I 
have quoted a mere repetition of the Catholic Catechism. 
"'Vhat ayails it," then, that the Episcopa1ian minister tens 
his congregation that sacraments will not save them, wllcn 
he puts into their hands this catechism 
 &c. 
I cannot follow the lecturer through the whole bead-roll 
of his enumeration of Catholic practices, ".hich he has picked 
out of the 1tlissioÌl Book and gathered up in a hasty perusal 
of other books of devotion, or explain every thing. They are 
among the minor and subordinate parts of the Catholic 



140 


MEMOIR OF 


system, and are placed in their proper relations to the lllore 
essential parts of it in Catholic practice and instruction. 
The lecturer bas put thelTI forward into a false perspectiye 
which distorts every thing, in order to sho,v that they pråcti- 
cally supplant the truth, the grace, and the morality of 
Christ; in order to .put in a preventer 'which shall effectually 
shut off all access of onr preaching of the great truths of re- 
ligion to the Protestant mind. He has skillfully chosen just 
the very practices ,vhich are most misunderstood by Protest- 
ants, and most objectionable in their view. The cbief of 
these, anù such as are connected with Catholic dogll1as, 
as 1\fasses for the Dead, Devotion to tbe Blessed Virgin 
and Saints, and Indulgences, will be found fully explained in 
the sermons of this vohune "and the other vohulles published 
by the congregation of which their author was a lnelnber, 
as ,vel! as in every Catholic Inanual. I single out, therefore, 
only one, and that the very one vvhich a non-Catholic reader 
of the Mission nook would be nlost likely to stumble at, viz. 
Tlw Scap
llar. 
The author says: "I open the' Book of the 1\Iission,' and 
I find, internlixed ,vith lnnch that is better, such ,vretched 
directions as that 
f 
{. -;: tbe wearing of 'the Virgin's 
Scapular' around the neck (shall) guarantee tho fulfihnent 
. of a promise lnade to one SÎInon Stock, an English Carmel- 
ite friar, of six centuries ago, that ',vhoso should die in- 
vested with it should be saved frolTI eternal fire.'" If this 
statement is to be taken in the sense of tbe lecturer, as a real 
exposition of our belief, it is very strange that ,ve should not 
dispense with the confessional, as well as ,yith preaching re- 
pentance towa,rd God, and a holy life, and conûne ourselves to 
the easier task of' investing all Catholics with the scapular. 
Nothing would be furthor necessary then, except to keep the 
strings in good repair, and we might all of us take our case, 
eat, drink, and be merry, while this short life lasts, secure of 
going to heaven at last. I-Iu11lan nature al\yays settles down 



. 


REV. FRAXCIS A. BAKER. 


141 


to the 101vest optional method of escaping perdition, according 
to our author. It is very singular, that after hearing our scr- 
lnons on the n1ission, and then Ftumblil1g upon thi:s account 
of the scapular in a book published under our o,yn directiou, 
he should not haye thought that there "\\"as S0111e explanation 
of w'hich it was susceptible, which ,vouId giye it a lllcaning in 
harmony ,,"ith our doctrine, and should not have asked for 
tbat explanation. I ,vill give it, ho,vever, unasked, lest it 
should seem that his objection is unanswerable. 
The scapular is a slnall article, Dlade to imitate a part of 
the religious habit, . and ,,,"orn as the badge of a pious confra- 
ternity affiliated to the Carmelite Order. 1l.ceording to the 
proper and ordinary use of it, it is conferred on !)ersons in- 
tending. to live a devout life, as an exterior sign of their 
special consecration to the service of God nnder the protec- 
tion of the Blessed Virgin, and of certain special graces ,,
Lich 
are given through the prayers of the holy religious of :Thlount 
Catínel, to tbose who fulfil the conditions L'litbfully. These 
conditions are, to observe a strict cha
tit.r according to one"s 
state, whether married or single, and to perfonll certain acts 
of devotion: It is understood that in order to be capable of 
receiving these graces, a person must take care to live alw'ays 
in the love and fear of God, and a "Void all other 1110rtal sins as 
well as those which are specifically renounced by the reception 
of the religious habit. This implies a diligent use of the 
InGanS of grace, such as prayer and the Sßcralncnt
. The ad- 
vantage attributed to membership in the confraternity, and 
gained by fulfilling its conditions, is merely, additional grace 
to assist 011C to Ii \Te a Christian life, and thus to escape perdi- 
tion and gain heaven. The scaplùar is only a sYlubol of 
this, and the only consolation a person who ,years it can re- 
ceive from it at the hour of death is, that it is to him a 
badge and emblem of the holy life he has led, and of the 
promise of special grace in his last moments. There is, besides 
this, the" Sabbatine Indulgence," as it is called., by which 



.. 


142 


:MEMOIR OF 


it is generally held, as a Inatter, not of faith, but of opinion, 
based on a private revelation, that a person I11a)'" obtain a 
remission of the punishment of temporal pain in the other 
world, on the Saturday after his decease. Presupposing no\\" 
the Catholic doctrine of Purgatory, and also the doctrine of 
Indulgences, according to which no on0 can enter the first 
unless he dies free from mortal sin, or obtain the second fully 
lmless he is free from every stain of sin, however small; there 
is nothing in this pious belief prejudicial to strictness of pi.ety 
or virtue. In order to escape eternal perdition, one l11uSt 
truly repent of every grievous sin. In order to be free fro1ll 
tClllporal punishment, one must satisfy the divine justice for 
past sins already remitted, and repent of all sins whatever, 
even the least and 1110st trivial. The soul can never enter 
heaven until its holiness is consummated. Therefore the pious 
belief respecting the Sabbatine Indulgence cannot, without 
contradicting Catholic doctrine, n1eall l110re than this: that 
one who faithfully accomplishes all- that he promises on re- 
ceiying the scapular, and earnestly endeavors to purity hÎ1n- 
self froIll all mortal and venial sin, may hope that the relnoval 
of the stains which his soul may have at death will be accel- 
erated by a special grace, and that, if ,vithout this special 
grace he would still have some short time to suffer, it I11r Y be 
remitted to him, or shortened, as God may see fit. 
'rhe language of Catholic books, of devotion is often free 
and unguarded, and therefore easily susceptible of misunder- 
standing ,vhen taken out of its connection and pressed into 
a hard literalness by those who do not understand the 
Catholic system in its harl11ony. These books are "'Titten 
for Catholics, ",
ho are supposed to be instructed, and to have 
the practical sense of their religion which enables them to 
take up their llleaning rightly. It is also presupposed that 
pastors and confessors will instruct and direct those under 
their charge in all1natters relating to practical religion, and 
guard them against hurtful errors or n1istakes in 
ubstituting 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


143 


minor and sub::;idiary practices of devotion for solid piety 
and the fulfilment of the w"eightier lllatters of the law. Let 
anyone candidly ex
t1nine into the spirit and scope of the 
sennons contained in this VOhUllC, anù into those of the 
:Dli;:,sion Book, and he ,,
ill see that those weightier nlatters 
are the ones "Thich are insisted on. rIhese are urged and 
enforced as essential ,vith all possible earnestness; and ho,v 
can it detract fr0111 the force of these exhortations, that 
an occasional recoilllnendation of some particular devotions 
is also tbro'wn in, 'which is like out: Lord's counsel not 
to leave undone the paying tithes of mint, anise, and 
cummin 
 
Let it be remembered that the point is not no,v to prove 
the truth of the Catholic ùoctrine respecting the EaCrall1ents 
or any inferior rites, practices, or pious works. It is to refute 
the charge that hy these thing:::; wo su1vert sound morality, 
solid anù spiritual piety, and faith Í?- Chri
t as the A.uthor of 
grace and justification. This charge is untrue, irrespective 
of the question of the clainl of the Catholic Church on faith 
and obedience. The author of the "Price Lecture" has 
made it ",vithout due study and examination, on the faith of 
the writers of the Church he has recently joined, and into 
whose vie\\'s he has thro,vn himself hy a voluntary effort, 
without waiting to mature the results of his o,vn theologi- 
cal principles. He is capable of better things than this 
hasty and superficial lecture. Let hiln be true to the dying 
declaration of the great Anglican divine ,vhich he quotes 
with so nluch approbation (p. 6), " I die in the faith and 
Church of Christ, as held before the separation of East and 
West," and he will no longer be found in un,,"orthy C0111- 
panionship with the revilers of the Roman Church. IIo,,- 
much more dignified anä noble is the position taken by such 
men as the great philosopher Leibniz, in the past, and, in the 
present, by the great statesman and champion of the truth of 
revelation and Protestant orthodoxy, Guizot! The latter 


- 



144 


:MEMOIR OF 


does not hesitate to avow that he considers the cause of 
which he is a champion essentially identical ,yith that of the 
Church of Rome. I agree with him, in the sense that the 
whole of the Christian tradition 1vhich is found in the 
various Christian bodies, and which constitutes the positive 
and objective creed which they cling to, is all preserved in 
the Catholic Church. I know the doctrine of Luther and 
Calvin, in which I was brought up, thoroughl
y, and I can 
testify that the positive portion of it, respecting the mystery 
of Redemption and .the inward sanctification of the Holy 
Spirit, I retain unchanged. I know thoroughly, also, the 
Church principles of Reforlned Episcopacy, and I retain all 
these unchanged. I ha ve found also all that true and 
sound rationality, or respect for human reason and its certain 
science, together with all that high estimate of the moral 
virtues, which is professed by Unitarians, in Catholic theology. 
I have never lost any thing or been required to abdicate 
any thing which I had previously acquired in the intellectual 
or spiritual life, by embracing Catholic doctrine
 but have only 
adùed to it that which makes it more integral and complete. 
The real question of discussion is about that ,vhich is positive 
in the Roman Church, in addition to that ,,,,hich is common 
to her and Protestant commuñions, and not about those 
more prinlaryarticles of the Christian creed which fOl'lll the 
basis of all religion and Christianity. It is the - question, 
whether the Catholic Church is really the one, only Church, 
founded by Christ on the Supremacy of St. Peter and his 
Apostolic See of Rome; and is an infallible teacher in faith and 
morals. We do not ask other Christians to adnlit this before 
they have examined the evidence, or been convinced by its 
force. 'Ve ask them sÍ1nply, ad interÙn, to do us justice, to 
give us a fair hearing, to observe the rules of honorable ,,"'ar- 
faré in their controversies with us, and to concede our rightful 
claÏ1ns as Christians and as free citizens. Those bigoted 
leaders of religious factions and their great "Fourth 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


145 


Edtate" of uneluployed clerical followers, whose occupation 
of hanging around the skirts of our armies is gone, and who 
seek to stir up a religions war, by representing Catholics as 
the enemies of civil and religions liberty, and the progress of 
the Church as dangerous to our political,velfarc, are be
rond 
all reason .01" renlonstrance. Their plans arc well charactcr- 
iscd in some of the secular papers, as ll}Ore nefarious than 
those of the men ,,'ho plotted to burn tbe botels of N e,v 
York. They would be better employed, and make a much 
nlore efficacious war on infidelity, if they "ould give Inis- 
sions, establish churches, and make other efforts for the 
instruction in some principles of religion and morality of the 
half-n1Ïllion of Protestants in the city of New York, and the 
other millions elsewhere, who never enter a church-door. 
Those Protestants who may read these pages "illlmdoubt- 
edly, for the most part, belong to that large class wbo 
repudiate indignantly all sympathy ,vith men of this sort, 
and their schemes. And on such readers I rely confidently to 
judge justly and generously the pnre and noble character and 
apostolic ,yorks of the subject of this Mernoir, from his life 
and from his own writings. I rely on them to believe Iny 
testimony, that they will find in these a specimen of the 
genuine character and Qoctrine of the Catholic priesthood, 
1110delled after the fornl proposed by the Church herself. I 
think they will give their approbation and sympathy to all 
that is done by the Catholic clergy to stenl the vast and 
swelling torrent of impiety and immorality which threatens 
our political and social fabric on every side, and will acknowl- 
edge the service done to the state and society, apart. froln 
the directly religious benefit to the souls of men, by the only 
Church and body of clergy that has a powerful sway over 
great masses of the population in our country. 
This long digression will, I fear, have seemed tedious, and 
irrelevant to the proper subject of this biographical narrative. 
I ha"Ve thougbt it necessary, however, as a background to my 



146 


MEMOIR OF 


portrait, to paint the missionary "\vork froln which the life of 
Father Baker receives its principal value and significance. I 
return now to reSUllle the thread of his personal history, 
which I left at the point "\vbere he was about to commence 
his public sacerdotal and missionary career. 
Father Baker came to the assistance of the little band w.ho 
,vere toiling in their arduous missionary labors, in November, 
1856. Ilis first mission-sermon was preached in St. Patrick's 
Church, Washington, D. C., on " The Necessity of Salvation." 
This sernlon was also the last one ,vhich he ever preached, at 
.one of the weekly services of Lent, in the parish church of St. 
Paul's, New York. 
The début of Father Baker as a missionary is noticed at 
the Records of the Missions in the following words, ,vhich 
were written by the faithful friend who watched over his last 
moments. 
"The Rev. Father Baker, a convert from Episcopalianisn1, 
and most highly respected and beloved as a Protestant minis- 
ter in Baltinlore, had been just ordained, and caIne for the first 
time to assist at this mission. He preached the opening sermon, 
which gave great satisfaction to all who heard it, anà a prom- 
ise that he will hereafter be a truly apostolical missionary." 
One pleasing little incident of this very interesting mission 
was, that the President and his lady gathered and arranged a 
beautiful bouquet of flowers, which were sent to decorate the 
altar at the ceremony of the Dedication to the Blessed Vir- 
gin, which took place near the close of the lnission. 
After the conclusion of this mission, Father Baker was sent 
by his superior to Annapolis, to assist the rector of the House 
of N oV"ices located there (on one of the ancient manors of the 
Oar1'o11 falllily, which had been given to the congregation by 
the daughter of Charles Carroll, of Carrollton), in the care of 
the little Catholic parish in that place. The other mission:- 
aries 'went South, for a series of lnissions to be given during 
the winter, and finding the work there too great for their 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


147 


small band of four, telegrapl1eù ,from Savannah to the pro- 
vincial, requesting hiln to send Father Bakcr to assist theIne 
In compliance ,vith this request, Father Baker ,"ras sent on 
Ï1nnlediately to Savannah, and took part in the nlission giycn 
in the cathedral, at that time under the care of the saintly 
and apostolic Dr. TIarry, then adlninistrator, and atter"
ard 
bishop of the diocese. There was but little episcopal splen- 
dor to be seen about the Savannah cathedral and residence 
at this titue. Until ,vithin a fe,v years previously to the 
nlission, Georgia had been included in the diocese of Charles- 
ton. Dr. Gartland, the first bishop, had prucured a suitable 
residence for hÍInsclf and his clergy, and had purchased prop- 
ert)" with a yie,y of erecting a handsome cathedral. ..Ll short 
time after his consecration, Savannah ,"v'as visited by a de- 
structive tornado, which destroyed the greater part of the 
fine old trees whieh forIlleù the principal ornament of the 
place, otherwise injured the city very seriousIJ", and unroofed 
the bishop's house. The yello,v fever brol
e out about the 
sallie time, in a ,ery virulent lllanner; and the bishop, as 
also Bishop Barron, who caIne there to assist him, fell a vic- 
tim to the epidemic. These disaster:::, and the debts w"hich 
pres
ed on the congregation, put a stop for a tilne to all 
efforts to establish matters on a suitable footing. After Dr. 
Barry's consecration, tbe old church was refitted and fur- 
nished in a way to make it quite respectable for tbe cathedral 
of a new diocese, and a spacious mansioii was plu'cbased for 
the episcopal re;:;idence. TIut at this time Dr. Darry Tras 
living, like a ùishop in ])aJ'tibu8 il1fideli1an, in a small and 
poor frame dwelling-house, containing ònly four or five rooms, 
and the clergy were putting up, in the ùest way they could, 
with rooms over the sacristy of the church. Just round tbe 
corner, an aged negro, ,yith a long \\"hite beard, who was a 
Methodist preacher, might be seen sitting all the day long in 
the sun on a little stool, holding a cow by a rope around her 
horns, while she nibbled the grass which grew along the 



. 


148 


MEMOIR OF 


streets; and the old gentleman chatted with the passers-by, 
or prepared his sermons for the next Sunday, highly delighted 
at the friendly salutations which the fathers always gave him 
as they passed by. Every now and then a black nurse passed 
along the street, carrying or wheeling the little white infant 
of her charge; or a troop of negro boys and their young 
masters, playing together with the utmost familiarity. The 
sunny, Southern atmosphere was vocal 
vith tbe merr', free- 
and-easy sounds of laughing, chatting mirth, or work carried 
on like a play ,vithout much care or hurry, so characteristic 
of a city in the far South. Savannah is a very beautiful 
and picturesque place, where, at that time, Southern life and 
manners could be seen at the greatest advantage; and the 
novelty of the scene gave it a great zest to those of our num- 
ber ,vho had not seen it before. The clergy were, most of 
them, old veteran missionaries, brought to this country by 
the celebrated Bishop England, full of rich and piquant 
anecdotes of their past experience among the wild, sparsely- 
settled regions of Georgia and the neighboring States, re- 
lated with inimitable wit and humor. * The mission was 
still further enliv
ned by a visit to Savannah from Archbishop 
Hughes, accoll1panied by his amiable secretary, ,vho were 
making a tour of recreation to restore the archbishop's shat- 
tered health; and from Dr. Lynch, soon after appointed to 
the see of Oharleston. 
This mission was, however, no play-spell for the lllission- 
aries. Besides the ordinary labor of preaching and hearing 
the confessions of a multitude of people, it was necessary to 
search out the people themselves, and bring them to church 
to hear the sermons. At that thue, the Southern towns re- 
ceived the débris of foreign emigration, and were filled 


* One of these good clergymen, the Rev. Peter Whelan, during the late civil 
war, remaiued 3, long time among our prisoners at Andersonville, and spent 
four hUlldred dollars in gold at one time in purchasing bread fer thcir necessities. 



TIEY. FRÁ.l.,CIS A. EAKER. 


149 


during the ,vintcr months by a loose floating population of 
Northern laborers, ,vho "
cre without clllployment at home. 
lIcnce, there ,vas a larger proportion than else,vhere of the 
most degenerate and demoralised class of Catholicg, living in 
complete neglect of their religious and moral duties, and 
beyond the reach of the ordinary nlini
trations of the Church. 

aYannah has several suburbs and pnrlieu
, rejoicing in tbe 
nalnes of Y"anlnlacraw, llobertsviIlc, and Old Fort, cro,vdeù 
with squalid hovels, drinking-sbops, sailors' boarding-houses, 
and dens of thieves and smugglers, rèprcsenting in a small 
way tbe scenes 'which Dickens delights in describing. A 
Inission in the cathedral might be given ten tinles o\er, and 
the news of it n
ver reach the denizens of these places. Ac- 
cordingly, the luissionarics divided tbe several districts be- 
tween them, 
nd undertook to beat up the quarters of sin, 
vice, and misery, in the hope of rescuing some of these for- 
lorn and abandoned souls. It would hardly be 8afe for any 
one but a Oatbolic priest to undertake such a ,vork, espe- 
cially in the evening, and certainly no one else would have 
any hope of success. The ,york was done, howevcr, very 
thoroughly, and, in consequence, the church "'
as crowded by 
that class of persons who were in most need of a n1ission, 
and ,vho had never been reached before. An Í1nmediate and 
cxtensi ve reformation was the result. The grog-shops were 
deserteù, ,vhich bcfo
'e were filled fron1 morning until late at 
night, the sound of cursing and quarrclling was hushed, the 
darker deeds of sin cea
ed, and the great mass of these poor, 
lost souls began to listen to the eternal truths, and to seek for 
the ,vay that \\
ould bring them back to God. l\Iany, en- 
gaged in dishonest practices, abandoned tbeir unla,vful traffic, 
and made restitution of their ill-gotten gains. Great num- 
bers of those who had abandoned the sacralnents, and even 
ceased going to church, for ten, twenty, or thirty years, came 
with great fervor and earnestness to confession. SOlne of the 
poor slaves also, as ,vell 1\Iethodists as those who were Oath- 



150 


MEMOIR OF 


olics, attended eagerly on the instructions of the mission. 
One old J\fethodist negress was asked by her mistress, or some 
" 
one else who noticed her constant attendance, if she liked the 
mission; to which she replied: "Oh, Lor! yes, missus; l'se 
bound to be there, if I can get only one eye in, every time." 
Another grown-up slave girl, ,vho had never been baptized, 
was most anxious to receive baptisn1, and induced her Inistress 
to ask me to baptize her. I was very reluctant to do it, 
fearing lest she might not bß sufficiently instructed and pre- 
pared in her moral dispositions to begin a really Christian 
life, without a longer probation; and therefore refused to 
baptize her during the mission. After the last sermon she 
went nearly frarrtic, and made loud exclamations that she 
wished to be taken out of the devil's hands, and the father 
would not do it, but was going a,vay, leaving her in his 
power. Touched by her entreaties, and :finding that her mis- 
tress had taught her the rudiments of the catechism; I instructed 
her for some days, and endeavored to hnpress upon her mind 
especially, that if she ,vished for the graces of baptism and 
the friendship of God, she must renounce all sin and live a 
good and holy life. So fearful was she that she might sin, 
and receive baptisln unworthily, that for a day before her 
baptism she would not speak a word to any person, not even 
her n1istress. She refused to speak even ,vhen she was asked 
about her sponsors and her baptismal dress, and her ,vhole 
demeanor at her baptism "\\Tas like that of one oppressed with 
the Inost intense sentiment of religious awe, and of the sacred- 
ness of the promises she was Inaking to God. It is not to be 
supposed that every bad Oatholic \vas reformed, or that, of those 
who :were really brought to a resolution to mend their lives, 
all of them persevered. The hydra-headed monster of vice 
is not killed by a blo,,
, nor can we hope ever to exterminate 
sin by any means, even those ,vhith have a divine efficacy. 
It is a continual ,varfare "\\rhich we have to "rage, by both 
spiritual and moral weapons, .which the free will can always 



REV. FR
\NCIS A. BAKER. 


151 


resist. God alone has coerci, e po\ver over tbe spirit of Ulan, 
and lIe ,vill not exert it to compel hilll to obey Ilia law. 
Teulptations to sin ever beset the hUlnan ,,-ill, especially in 
a corrupt, irreligious, and iuulloral state of soeiety. The 
Catholic Church iB not intenùeù to ùe a society of saints" ho 
haye already attained perfection, but a training and refor- 
matory school for the hUlnan raco. It has no lneans of 
charlning or 111esmerizing the human ,--rill into sanctity, and 
its gracious influences do not supersede. tbe struggle for life 
"bich exists in the spiritual as in the natural wor1d. It has 
an the llleans of sancti(ying the human race, and of elevating 
n1en to the summit of possible human virtue, limited only 
by the exten
 to ,vbicb the free human ,vill co-operates with 
grace. It must actually produce these results on a great . 
scale, in order to prove that it is the Church; because God 
would not have created it for this purpose, foreseeing its 
essential failure to fulfil it
 work and attain its predestined 
end. It is easy enough to sho\v that the Church possesses 
this note of sanctit.J, correctly understood in this ""ay. But 
it is perfectly true also that the free-will of man, by its 
failure and perversion, hinders the Church to a vast extent 
froln exhibiting its regenerating and sanctifying power. Great 
nUll1bers of individuals in the Catholic Church live and act 
in contradiction to their faith, neglect or abuse the means of 
grace, and dishonor religion by their conduct. The only 
Ineans which the Church bas of contending: with this eyil, 
nd 
reclaiming these unworthy Inembers from a sinful life, are 
III oral means, acting on the mind and conscience. Missions are 
among the Inost po"Terful and efficacious of these means, and 
their efficacy is sho,,
n, not in eradicating sin, or liberating 
human nature from its intrinsic liability and propensity to sin, 
but in checking and counteracting its violence, and reclaÍIning 
a great number of individuals from its influence. If they 
actually do this, if they have a perceptible influence in 
reforming and renovating the demoralisec1 portion of the 



152 


MEMOIR OF 


Catholic community, heightening the restraining power of 
. faith and conscience among the mass of the people, and pro- 
ducing many permanent fruits in the increase of piety and 
morality, they are successful, and their value is established. 
It is beyond a question that they do this to an extent which 
can only be understood by those who are engaged in them, 
or who have studied their working on a grand scale. 
To retul.'ll to the Savannah mission. I had a good oppor- 
tunity to judge of its permanent fruits when, two years after- 
ward, I returned there, and went through the same quarters 
of the town wh
re we had gone to drum up the people to the 
mission, in making a collection for the new congregation of St. 
Paul. Many of the very poorest dwellings I found neat and 
.. orderly; the pious pictures blessed during the mission hang- 
ing upon tbe walls; the children clean and tidy; sometimes 
an old Inan sitting at the door, reading the mission-book; 
the ,vives and mothers evidently cheerful and contented, the 
best sign that their husbands were sober and kind; the ex- 
l)ressions of grateful remembrance of the mission ,varm and 
frequent; the signs of moral improvement everywhere, and 
the church crowded on Sunday. 
It is not to be supposed that the body of the Catholic con- 
gregation of Savannah were like this lowest class I have de- 
scribed. I 
ave dwelt more minutely on their condition, 
and the good done among them, mainly because the small 
comparative size of the place, and the thorough visitation 
which was made, brought us into a more close contact with 
their miseries, and enabled us to see more clearly what can 
be done to relieve them, than is usually the case. I have 
wished to show ,vhat the hardest and most repulsive part of 
the work of the missionary is, and to give a true picture of 
the nature and efficacy of the means used to raise up and re- 
form and save tbe D10st demoralised class of the Catholic 
population throughout tbe country, and especially in the 
large towns, where this class is most nUll1erous. I ,vish, also, 



TIEY. FRANCIS A. BARER. 


153 


before resuming the particular nalTatiyo of F. Baker's life, to 
show ,'dlat was tbo work for which ho left tho ease and ele- 
gance and attractive cbarlll of his earlier position as an 
Episcopalian clergY1lutn, fulfilling tbe ligbt duty of reading 
prayers and preaching quiet, wen-written, polished di8courses 
for tho élite of TIaltinH!rc society. 
'The mass of tho p
ople .who ,vere brought to the mi
sion 
in Savannah by tIle personal 'Visits of the fathers had never 
been seen in tho church previously. They were the dtòJ'i,q 
that the tide of ell1igration had deposited there, and many 
of them only chance-residents of the town. 
The ordinary churcb-going congregation contained, as 
usual, its very large proportion of Easter cOlllmunicants, 
with a smaller but still numerOU3 class of devout and fervent 
Catholics who approached the sacraments frequently. The 
Inajority of them belonged to the hun1bler ,valks of life, 
although there ,vere a considerable number ,vhose position in 
,,'orldly society was more elevated. 
F. Baker arrived in Savannah, 'VII en the mission 'YfiS about 
half over, and took his share in the labor of preacbing and 
hearing confessions. .At the close of it, after a few days' rest, 
three of tbe n)issionarie
, of Wb0111 he was one, comlnence<1 
a series of lllissions in one part of the diocese, and the two 
others began another ,vhich embraced the smaller parishes. 
The smaller band went to ltlacon, Columbus, and Atlanta, 
rejoining their companions subsequently at Charleston. As 
F. Baker went in anotber direction, I shall confine myself to. 
the narrative of the missions in ,vhich he was engaged, and 
pass over tbe others, merely pausing for a moment to notice a 
letter ,vritten by a Protestant gentleman in 
Iacon, to tbe 
United State8 Catholic l1Iíscellany, of Charleston, as an 
evidence of the hnpression often made by missions upon the 
minù of candid and intelligent Protestants. The letter is as 
follow's :- 
" In cOlnpany ,vith many of our most distinguished citi- 
'1* 



154 


MEMOIR OF 


zens, I have had the pleasure of hearing most of the sermons 
delivered, and ,vitnessing the accompanying exercises con- 
nected with their mission, and but express the united and 
universal sentiment entertained, ,vhen I say that they were 
exceedingly interesting and instructive, and have served to 
dissipate many of the vulgar prejudices that hung like a 
mist upon the public mind, and, like a cold-dalnp, milde,ved 
reason and honest judgment. Sufficient testilnony of this 
result Inay be found in the fact that a nluuber of Protestant 
gentlemen called upon ],11". Walworth yesterday, and urgent- 
ly reqnested hiIll to deliver one more sermon before his de- 
parture, which he consented to do this evening. I would 
send you a copy of the correspondence, but it would be too 
voluminous for the brevity of this letter; suffice it to say it 
was complimentary, no less in the act itself than in the man- 
ner in ,vhich the request was conveyed. 
" I must take this occasion of expressing my gratification at 
the result adverted to, for though I am not a member, nor 
ever have been, of the Catholic Church, its piety and reli- 
gious principles-the purit.y, integrity, ability, learning, and 
eloquence of its teachers and preachers-the bright links of 
patience, endurance, and fidelity, by which it is held to the 
early ages of Christianity-its unity of action, consistency of 
precept and practice, and conformity of theory and doctrine, 
as well as the great lights of intellect that have shed lustre 
upon it in the past and present-men whose genius has ele- 
vated them above the gloom of dying ceI).turies to overflo\v 
history ,vith glory-these have commended the Catholic 
Church favorably to my judgment; and regarding its on- 
ward progress and increasing popularity with no jaundiced 
sectarian eye or jealous faction-spirit, but \yith the extension 
of civilization and Christianity-I feel the pressure of no 
petty, vulgar prej ndice in ,visl1ing it, ,vith all other Christian 
organizations, , God speed;' and if this sentin1ent be in hos- 
tility wjth Protestanism, as for n1yself and it I say, 'perish 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKEH. 


155 


the connection '-' live' the enlightened liberality and intel- 
ligence of civilized and educated lnan. 
"Yours, very truly, etc. 
":MACOY, December 31, 1836." 


From Sa-vannab, F. Baker, ,vith two cOlnpanions, went to 
give a mission in Augusta. On the pages of the Mis- 
sion llecords several interesting incident:; of this mission are 
related. On tbe first Sunday 1110rning of the Inission, three 
gentlemen called on the fathers, all of wbon1, it appeared, 
were conyerts. One of them was called Dr. W. B., the se- 
cond, his nephew, Dr. ::\1., and the third was the overseer of 
Dr. B.'s plantation. This Dr. B. had been received into the 
Catholic Church some months previously, and had entered a 
Catholic church for the first time that morning. lIe ,vas a 
man of fine and genteel appearance, "Tith gray hair and a 
long, black beard, an intelligent and educated phJsicia
l. 
So great was his excitement, and so "wonderful did every 
thing ,vhich he saw that ùay appear through the magnifying 
glass of his imagination, that on his return hOllle that night, 
at eleven o'clock, he awoke his brother and made him get 
up and light a fire, that he might relate the events of 
the day. .As a sample of the proportion in which he 
viewed the whole, it may suffice to say that he described 
one of the fathers as seven and a-half feet high-at least 
six inches taner than the Georgia giant. The brother 
alluded to, also a physician and planter, made his appear- 
ance a day or two later. lIe was quite an elderly gentle- 
man, with an intelligent countenance :1nd a n!agnificent pa.- 
triarchal beard. A painter could not find a better head fur 
an ..llpostle, or for one of the ancient Bishops or Fathers of 
the Church than his.. He 1\-as a man with an intellect like 
Bro,vnson's, and full of information. He became a Catholic 
a few years ago from reading Brownson's Review. Since 
that time he has been a great champion of the Church, and, 



156 


MEMOIR OF 


through llis influence, his own family, his brother and sister, 
his nepllew and some otl1ers, have also been converted. One 
of the latter ,vas then residing in Dr. B.'s o'\vn family, and 
,vas leading a most remarkably penitential life. This gen- 
tleman (a Mr. S.), of high birth and education, was formerly 
a lawyer, and a married Illan of large property. He was 
renowned for his courage, and had fought with one of the 
most celebrated duellists of South Carolina, nalned R. This 
gentleman lost his property and was abando
ed by his ,vife. 
About seven years before he had become a Catholic, he 
lived for a considerable time .with his brother, an unprinci- 
pled and ferocious man, '\vho scarcely allowed him a bare 
pittance. lIe was dressed in rags, was barefooted, and lived 
on bread '\vhich he baked himself. 
After a few years, when Dr. B. had become a Catholic, 
and opened a small chapel on his own plantation, Mr. S. 
appeared there one day at }Iass in his miserable plight. Dr. 
R. invited him to stay with him, and gave him a small office 
to live in, and all other things requisite for his cOlnfort. 
IIere he had been living ever sinee, leading the life of a 
saint, and passing a great portion of his time in reading 
Catholic books, especially Bro,vnson's Review, which he 
knew almost by heart. The Doctor said that the only thing 
'\vhich could excite his anger, was to hear anyone speak 
against Brownson, or 
ontradìct any thing he says. As an 
instance of his penance, I will relate how, according to Dr. 
B.'s account, he attempted to pass one Lent. He had been 
reading the Lives of the Fathers of the Desert, and he en- 
deavored to i
tate their example precisely and to the letter. 
IIis whole food consisted of a small quantity of bread, and 
. during the last three days he wanted to fast entirely, but 
Dr. B. threatened that, if he did, he ,vould send a little negro 
for Father B., to excommunicate him. He ,,,,as wasted to a 
skeleton, and did not recover the effects of Lis fasting for 
six months afterward. On one occasion, Mr. S. found a. 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


157 


poor, sick negro, with no one to attend hiIn, and not con- 
tented with ,vaiting on him and taking care of him, as he 
was constantly in the habit of doing for all the sick ,vitllin 
several Inilcs' distance, he "ashed his feet, and, for want of a 
to\vel, wiped them with bis pocket-handkerchief. It was nc- 
cessary to watch him, lest he might give away his clothes to 
the negroes and ,vhen he needed new clothes, they were put 
secretly in his ,yay, and the old ones renloved. 
Others in this neighborhood, ,vho were not yet Catholics, 
,vere so ,yell disposed that they had their children baptized. 
Edgefield and the country round about was formerly celebrat- 
edfor the lawless and violent character of the population, for 
the frequency of lllurders, and for the bitter l)rejudice exist- 
ing against the Catholic Church; so lunch so, that a priest 
could not obtain the Court-House to preach in. 'Then the 
elder Dr. B. became a Catholic, Dr. 'V. B. 
eclared that he 
would burn up his wife and children and his ,vhole house 
before they should become Catholics, and any priest who 
should chance to come near him. Another gentleman, since 
a convert, said that, if one of his children should become a 
Catholic, he ,vould take him by the heels anù dash out his 
brains against a stone wall. Dr. 
f., ,vhen he ,vent to study 
medicine with his uncle, the elder Dr. B., made a vow that 
he would never cnter the chapel and never desert the faith 
of his fnthera; and his parents told hÍln on leaving h01ne 
that, if he beCa111e a Catholic, he should neyer cross the Sa- 
vannah Ri,er again or see their faces. After some months, 
he became silent and melancholy. For a while he concealed 
the cause, but at last, one evening he told his aunt that he 
could hold out no longer, and ,vas a Catholic at heart. 
Shortly after receiving Lis medical diploma, he determined 
to renounce the practice of medicine, and has recently been 
.. ordained to the priesthood. 
At Edgefield a lot of seven acres was purchased in the 
111iddle of the town, for a ChlU'ch, to be built of brown stone, 



158 


MEMOIR OF 


in the Gothic style. Five gentlemen had already subscribed 
sixteen hundred dollars for the church, and Father B. was 
collecting for the same purpose. There was a general in- 
clination throughout the whole to\vn to embrace the Cath- 
olic faith, and already there is a small baud of the best 
Catho1ics in the country there-souls that have been led by 
the great God Himself, by the wonderful ways of His Inost 
holy grace. Dr. B. has since died, and what has been the 
fate of the little congregation, and of the beautiful church 
which was commenced, during the troubles and miseries of 
tbe civil war, I know not. They have not, however, hin- 
dered the Catholics of Augusta from completing and paying 
for a large and costly church, the successor of a very good 
and commodious edifice of brick where the mission was 
gIven. 
After leaving Augusta, ,ve went to Savannah once more, 
and on the 29th of January went on board the little steamer
 
Gen. Clinch, which ,vas afterward turned into a gunboat 
during the civil ,val', to begin our voyage by the inland route 
to St. 
ugustine, Florida. This iIùand route has SOlne pecu- 
liar and picturesque features. The steamer passes down the 
Savannah River, with its banks lined with the green and gold 
orange trees, until, near the mouth, it turns into its proper 
route, leading through a succession of small sounds, connected 
by narrow, serpentine rivers, where you seeIn to be sailing 
over the meado\vs, usually in sight of the ocean, and quite 
often aground for some hours at a time. The steanler ,vas 
very sIn all and very cro\vded, our progress very leisurely and 
interrupted by several long stoppages, so that our voyage was 
protracted for five days. It is seldom that a Inore motley or 
singular and amusing group of passengers is collected in a 
small cabin. Besides the three Catholic priests, ,yho ,vere 
to the others the greatest curiosities on board, we had an army 
lieutenant, since then the commander of a corps d'armée in 
the great civil war, an old wizard who was consulting hiB 



REV. FRA
CIS Ä. BAKER. 


159 


familiar spirits inces3antly for the amuselllcnt or information 
of the passengers; a plantation doctor, a "wild young Ar- 
kansas lawyer of the fire-eating type, a professor of mathe- 
matics, a crotchety, good-lnullorcd N e,v York farnlcr, ",rith 
very peculiar religious opinions, a young man 'v ho })rofessed 
hiInself a universal sceptic, two or threc gentlelnen of educa- 
tion anel polished Inannerò3, ,vho werc not at all singular, but 
appeared quitc so in such an odd assenlblagc; and SOlno other" 
in no w"ay remarkable. The cramped accommodations, the 
long voyage, and the usual bonholJ
'lnie ,,-hich prevails on 
such occasions 'Yere "
en fitted to dra,v out all the oddities 
and idiosyncrasies of the company. The spiritualist, ,,
ho was 
an uneducated and uncouth specimen of humanity, ,,,"ith a 
great deal of native shrewdness, and a good-hulnorcJ, 
loquacious disposition, ,vas the center of attraction. 
The professor and the philosophical farmer engaged ,yith 
him in a long and earnest discussion of spirituali:;n1, ,yhich 
ended in his exhibiting his powers as a consulter of the 
spirits. Most of the passengers made trial of his skill in this 
respect, although his performance was the n10st patent of 
silly impostures, only amusing from its absurdity. The pro- 
fessor tried hin1 sorely by asking hin1 a question which 
seemed to have caused himself many an hour of anxious and 
fruitless tbought, and which he áppeared to despair of solving 
luetaphysical1y: "Can God annihilate space
" The old 
gentleman's spirit did not appear to have investigated this 
question to his ow"n conlplete satisfaction, for he gave hin1 
no positive ans,ver. lIe was silent for a mOlnent, 1vith a 
puzzled look, evidently fearing a trap, and at last ans"
ered, 
" I don't know, but I guess lIe could if TIe tried; lIe made it, 
and I guess lIe could annihilate it." Just as the professor 
was going to retire to his berth, the old nlan took revenge by 
tel1ing bim that he had just been informed by the spirits that 
one of his children was sick of scarlet fever. The wizard left 
the boat fit Brunswick, but as the converaation bad taken a 



. 


160 


MEMOIR OF 


religious and philosophical turn at first, it continued in that 
direction, the two individuals before mentioned being the 
principal interlocutors. We did not jöin much in it, as it ,vas 
evidently distasteful to several of tIle cOlllpany, who wished 
to read quietly or converse on ordinary topics. Before ,ve 
parted, ho,vever, one of our number took the opportunity 
which offered itself of having a little pleasant and rational 
discussion \vith the professor and one or two others, who 
were really intelligent and well-informed. On New Year's 
Day we remained several hours at St. 1Iary's, Georgia, where 
we found the Inayor of the plaèe to be a Oatholic gentle- 
man, of Acadian descent, and were hospitably entertained 
at his house. The boat passed the night at Fernandina, and 
the next day we went out of the St. Mary's River, 
across a short and dangerous stretch of ocean between 
a line of breakers and the shore, into the St. John's, and 
up that romantic river, so full of historical associa- 
tions. Friday evening saw us befogged above Jack- 
sonville, and on Saturday morning we learned to our dislnay 
that our captain was going past our landing, and on to 
Pilatka, which would keep us on board his miserable little craft 
until the next week, and prevent the opening of the mission 
on the Sunday. Touching for a few moments at Flerning's 
Island, we found friends at the little dock, who ,vere passing 
the \vinter on the island, and who informed us that we could 
go from there that afternoon to our destination. "\Ve debarked 
accordingly, our friend the professor in compåny with us, 
and were refreshed with a good breakfast at the hotel where 
our friends were lodging, and a stroll around thélittle island. 
On the arrival of the steamer, the ,vhole party went on 
board and proceeded to Picolata, where ,ve took stage-coaches 
for St. Augustine, arriving there on Saturday evening. 
About h
lfway between Picolata and St. Augustine there is 
a post-house, where, in the last Florida 'Var ,vith the Seminole 
Indians, a party of travelling actors were surprisQd and mur- 



!lEV. FRANCIS Â. BAKER, 


161 


ùcred by Indians, who dre3sed thelnselves in their fantastic 
coshunes, and in tbat guise Inade a. hostile demonstration in the 
neighborhood of St. l\.ugustine. 
To Ålnericans, this old to'wn seelns to have a vast antiquity, 
claiming as it does the resl)ectable nge of three centuries. 
The Catholic church here is ahnost as old as Protestantism, 
and a brief of St. Pins V., in regard to some of the religious 
affairs of tbis colony, is still extant. There are relunants of 
an old ,vall in several places, and a large fortress built in . 
Spanish tÍ1nes, and called the castle of St. ]}farco, where yon 
lnay yet see the marks of the cannon-shot fired at the invasion 
of Oglethorpe from Georgia. This fort might .serve as a 
scenc for the plot of a new "
Iysterics of U dolfo," it is so 
unlikc any thing modern, and so thoroughly Spanish and 
lnediæyal. It is not, ho,\
ever, of a sort to make one regret 
thc past. Its dark, dan1p ca
emates look like prisons, espe- 
cially one frightful dungeon, which is a cell ,vit1
in a cen, 
,yithout anJ' embrasure, and admitting no light or air except 
that which comes through the doo
 opening into tho outer 
casen1ate. This ,vas the cell of the greatest criminals. In 
one of these casemates, 1Yildcat, the celebrated Indian 
chief, ,vas once confined ,vith a companion. Although cruel 
and blood-thirsty, "\Vildcat ,vas a great "'\varrior, ancl_ a nlan 
gifted ,vith a high order of " genius, an orator, a poet, and a 
true cavalier of the forest. On pretence of illness, he and his 
companion reduced their bulk as .llluch as possible by a lo,v 

iet anù púrgative Incdicines, and by the aid of a knife, 
which he had secreted and used as a spike by thrusting it 
into the wall of soft concrete, "ith a rope dexterously 1l1ade 
fi'om strips of his bed-clothes, he clan1bered to the high anù 
narrow embrasure, squeezed himself through, not ,vithout 
scraping the skin from his breast, anù let himself do,vn into 
the llloat. Ilis cOlnpanion followed him, but fell to the 
ground, breaking his leg. Nevertheless, "\Vildcat carried 
hinl off, seizeù a stray 111ule, and escaped to his tribe in the 



162 


:MEMOIR OF 


forest. Mter the conclusion of the war, he went to }'Iexico, 
'v here he 'became the alcalde of an Indian village, and did 
his ne,v country essential service by leading a body of Indian 
\\
arriors, arIned with l,Iississippi rifles, against a band of fili- 
busters from the United States. Osceola, the half-breed king 
of the Seminoles, who was not only a hero, but a just and 
hUll1ane man, was also captured near St. Augustine, by 
treachery and bad faith, and confined in this fortress for a 
time, but afterward removed to Charleston, ,vhere he died of 
a broken heart. The great mahogany treasure-chest of Don 
Juan 
Ienendez is still remaining in the fortress, and in one 
of the casemates are remnants of a rude stone altar and 
holy-water stoups, marking the site of a chapel. The fortress 
is kept in good preservation by our Government, and a noble 
sea-wall extends from it to the barracli:s at the other end of 
the town, which are established in an ancient Franciscan 
monasterJ-:. A great part of the old city is in ruins. The 
old Spanish families left the country \vhen it was ceded by 
Spain to the United States, and the resident inhabitants are 
l\Iinorcans, negroes, and a small number of settlers from the 
other portions of the United States. The l\finorcans are 
descendants of a body of colonists, brought to Florida under 
false pretences by an English speculator, who enslaved them, 
and kept them for a long time in that state before they became 
aware that there was any ,vay of escaping irOIn it. When 
they did take courage to shake off the yoke, they removed to 
the Spanish colony of St. Augustine, ,vhere they retain their 
language, a dialect of the Spanish, 
lith their ancient, siro- 
pIe character and habits. The illustrious Spanish names 
which some of them bear amused us greatly. Sanchez was 
the proprietor of a line of slow coaches. Suarez had charge 
of F.l\Iadeore's farIl1, and Ximenes served 
fass. ' The church 
is a large Spanish structure, built, as are nlost of the houses, 
of soft concrete forlned from sea-shells. On a green in front of 
it stands the only remaining rnonument, erected in commemo- 




 


REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


163 


ration of the forlnation of the Spanish Constitution of 1814. 
The to'wer has a chÍ1ne of slnall bells, which are rung in a 
m03t joyous, clashing style, according to the Spani:;h custoln, 
for festive occasions, and with a peculiarly plaintive peal for 
deaths and funerals. The cenletery is called Tololllato, "which 
,vas the name .of an Indian village formerly occupying it
 
site. The ruins of an ancient mission cbapel are still to l:e 
seen there, where F. Roger, a French Jesuit, was murdered 
by an apostate Indian chief and his \varriors. .After kiJ1ing 
F. Roger, the band proceeded to another chapel, called 
N uestra Seflora de Leche, "where they found a priest just 
robed for 1\Iass. lIe requested the chief to allow hhn to say 
Mass, and his desire \va:; granteù, the savages prostrating 
themselves ,vith their faces to the ground while he performed 
the holy function, lest the sight of hin1 should soften their 
hearts. ..After Mass he knelt at the foot of the altar, and 
received a blo'\V' from tbe tOlnaha,vk which made him a 
martyr. 
Tololl1ato contains also the beautiful tomb erected by the 
Cubans over the grave of the neve Dr. Varela, a learned, 
holy, and patriotic priest, a native of the Island of Cub
, and 
a melnber of the Spanish Cortes "\\yhich established the Con- 
stitution. Banished from his native country, where his mem- 
ory has always been fondly cherished, he passed the greater 
part of a long life as a laborious parish priest in K ew York, 
and died in St. Augustine. There is a beautiful chapel over 
his grave, ,yith an altar of marble and mahogany, and a 
heavy marble slab in the center of the pavement, containing 
the simple but eloquent inscription: "Al Padre Varela l08 
lluvanos"-The Cubans to Father Varela. 
The mission in St. .i\ugustine absorbed the \vhole attention 
of the Catholic population, who formed a large Inajority of 
the inhabitants. Great numbers of them gathered to welcome 
the fathers on their arrival, and ,vhenever they went out they 
were met and greeted by groups of these simple, warm-heart- 



lG4 


MEMOIR OF 


ed people, and follo'wed by a troop of children, ,vho live there 
in a perpetual holiday. There ,vas scarcely any business or 
work done there at any time; the climate and the fertility 
both of the land and water in the means of subsistence fur- 
nishing the necessaries of life to the poorer classes without 
much trouble. 
lost of these pass their time in fishing, and 
even this occupation ,vas intermitted, so that on Friday 
there was not a fish to be found ill the market. The people 
seemed literally to have nothing whatever to .do ; the fort and 
barracks were garrisoned by one soldier with his wife and 
children; tbe government of the place ,vas a sinecure; the 
mails caIne only twice a-week; behind the city lay the inter- 
minable, uninhabited everglade; before it the Atlantic Ocean, 
with its waters and breezes warmed by the Gulf Stream, and 
unvisited by any sails to disturb its solitude, except at rare 
intervals. Although it was midwinter, the ,veather was 
cOlnmonly as pleasant and the sun as ,varm as it is in Ne,v 
England in the month of June. I have never witnessed such 
a scene of dreamy, listless, sunshiny indolence, where every 
thing seemed to combine to lull the mind and senses into 
cOlnplete forgetfnlness of the existence of an active world. 
To the people, however, it was one of the most exciting peri- 
ods of their lives. The presence of several strange priests, 
the continual sermons and religious exercises, gave an un- 
wonted air of life and activity to the l)recincts of the old 
church, and roused them to an unusual animation. Drunk 
enness, dishonesty, and the graver vices ,vere almost un- 
known among them. 
The negroes. were found to be an extremely virtuous, in- 
nocent, and docile class of people. Honest, sober, observant 
of the laws of man'iage, faithful and contented in their easy 
emploYlnents, which seemed to suit their disposition very well, 
and in many cases not only pious, but very intelligent, and 
exhibiting fine traits of character, they ,vere the best evidence 
we had yet seen of what the Catholic religion can do for tbis 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


165 


oppreç,sed and ill-used racc. One of them, a pi10t on one of 
the steamboats navigating the St. John's River, impressed me 
as one of the Inost admirable men of his class in life, for ca- 
pacity and conscientious Chri
tian principle, I hnxe ever met. 
.Another, who was a freewnan of the celebrated John Ran- 
dolph, and for many J"'ears his per
onal attendant, ,vas not 
only in teUigent anù well informed, but a ,vell- bred gcn tlc- 
Ulan in llÌs manners and appearance. 
The most interesting incident of the mission was the con- 
version of an ordnance sergeant of the regular arnlY, "who ,vas 
in charge of the fortress. This brave soldier had distin- 
guished himself in tbe 
Iexican ,val', by the recapture of a 
cannon which had been taken in one of the battles by the 
1.Iexicans, and by his general character for gallantry and 
fidelity to his duties. IIis wife and children were Catholics, 
but be himself bad lived until that thne without any religion. 
On K ew-Y ear's night, as he sat alone in the barracks, after 
his family had retired, he began to think over his past life, 
and resolved to begin at once to live for the great end for 
.which God had created him. lie knelt down and said a few 
prayers, to ask the grace and blessing of God on his good 
resolutions. His prayers were heard, and during the 11lissioll 
he ,,-as received into the Catholic Church and adlnitted to the 
sacraments .with all the signs of sincerity and fervor .which 
were to be expected from one of such a resolute anc1 manly 
character. I ,vish to mention one interesting circumstance 
,vhich he I'elated to me, as showing the po,ver of good exam- 
ple in III en of high station in the world. He told me that 
the first impression he received of the truth and excellence 
of th
 Catholic religion, was received from viÏtnessing tbe 
admirable life of that accomplished Christian gentleman and 
soldier, Caþtain Gareschè, to .whose company he ûclonged. 

Iany readers ,vill recall, as they I'ead these records, the 
adlllirable and glorious close of this officer1s career on the field 
of battle. During the Western campaign of General Rose- 



166 


MEMOIR OF 


crans, Lieutenant-Colonel Garesché was his chief of staff. 
Before the battle of Stone River, he received IIoly Commu- 
nion, and was observed after,vard alone under a tree, reading 
the" Ilnitation of Christ." During the en'gagel11ent, one of 
the fiercest and most bloody of the civil ,val', he rode, by the 
side of his gallant general, through a storm of shot and shell, 
and òy his side he fell, besprinkling his beloved commander 
with his blood, as he sank upon the .field to die, and yielded 
up his noble life to his country and to God. 
The labors of this mission ,vere so light that it was more 
like ho1iday than work for us. The presence of a number 
of very agreeable and intelligent Catholic gentlemen and 
ladies, who were visitors in the place, and some of whom 
were old friends, added very much to the liveliness of the 
mission, and to our own enjoYlnent of its peculiar attendant 
circumstances. One of these was the Ab bé Le Blond, a dear 
friend of ours and of all ,vho knew him, a priest of 1tlontreal, 
.who ,vas gradually dying of consumption, yet full of vivacity 
and activity, hnproving the remnant of his days by his labors 
of love and zeal, and his works of charity in different parts 
the South 'v here he passed his winters. lIe died eventually 
in Rome. Another was Lieutenant J\IcDonald, of the British 
Royal Navy, and also, for SOlne tin1e before leaving England, 
a captain in the Queen's Guards, a I-lighland gentleman of 
a family that has always been true to the faith, also since 
deceased. 
The quiet city of St. Augustine, as ,veIl as all the other scenes 
and places where ,ve passed that ,vinter on our missionary 
tour, has since then been visited by the desolating breath of 
,var. Probably all is changed, and greater changes yet are 
coming ,vith the ne\v issues of peace-changes ,vhich, there 
is reason to hope, will advance both the religious and tem- 
poral ,velfare of the people. Florida may yet become a 
populous State, and the handful of Catholics in it swell into 
a nUlnber sufficient to nlake a flourishing diocese. 




 


REV. FRANCIS A. DARER. 


167 


Inlmediatelyafter the cl0se of the 111ission, F. Baker pro.. 
ceeded by sea to Charleston
 where he met the other t,,
o 
111is::;ionaries "Who had been at work in Georgia, and com.. 
menced a mi:3
ion in the cathedral of that city. Iris two 
companions "
ere detained for a time in St. Augustine Ly the 
sudden and sey-ere illne
s of one of them, and they went on 
a little later, returning br the sanle leisurely route by which 
they came to Savannah, and thence to Charleston, where the 
111ission wa
 already in progres.;. 
Charleston possessed three Catholic churches, and its 
Catholic population Iltunbered from five to six thousand. 
.All the congregations were invited to the mission, and a 
large number of thelTI did attend from St. l\Iary's and St. 
Patrick "8, together ,vith the whole body of the cathedral 
parish. The same ,vork performed by the mi:3sionaries in 
Savannah had been gone through in Charleston, in scouring 
the lanes and alleys of the city to bring up the stragglers, 
and the great cathedral ,vas accordingly crowded, morning 
and night. First of all, two hundred bright and well- 
instructed chilùren received comlllunion in a body, and after- 
ward, through the course of the mibt:ion, three thousand 
adults, an10ng whom were twenty converts to the f
lith. 
Father Daker never, during the ,vhole cour8e of his mis- 
sionary life, enjoyed any thing so much as this Southern tour, 
and especially his stay at Charleston, the most delightful city 
of the South. l\.fter the long seclusion of three years in a 
convent, w"hich had impaired his health and vigor, the recrea- 
tion and p1easure of such a trip ,vag most beneficial and 
delightful to him. The work in ,,
hich he was engaged, 
besides the higher satisfaction ,vhich it gave to his zeal and 
charity, bad also tbe charm and excitement of novelty, with.. 
out the pressure of too arduous and excessive labor. At 
Charleston, be was already prepared by his previous ex- 
l)erience and practice to take a fun share in the principal 

ermons, and to give them that peclùiar tone and effeet which 



168 


:MEMOIR OF 


. 


is characteristic of mission sermons, and makes them sui 
genel>is among all others. All the circumstances were cal- 
culated to call the noblest po,vers of his mind and the warmest 
e
otions of his heart into full pJay. The cathedral was 
large, beautiful, and of a fine ecclesiastical style in all its 
arrangements. The adjoining presbytery, ,vhich had been 
built for a convent, and all the surroundings, were botb 
appropriate for the residence of a body of cathedral clergy 
and pleasing to the eye of taste. The clergymen them- 
sel ves, with their distinguished head, afterward the bishop 
of the diocese, were men of acconlplished learning and 
genial c}laracter, whose kindness and hospitality kne.w no 
bounds, and whpse zeal made them efficient fellow-laborers 
in the work of the mission. The congregation itself had 
Inany features of unusual interest. Having been long estab- 
lished, and careful1y watched over, since the illustrious Bishop 
England organized the diocese, containing a large pernlanent 
population of various national descent and of all classes of 
society, not a fe,v of whom ,vere convert.s ITom South 
Carolina families, an unusually large nlunber of intelligent 
young men, trained up to a great extent under the care of 
the clergy, and thus giving scope and affording a field for a 
man like F. Baker to display his special gifts to the greatest 
advantage and profit-it is .not surprising that he should 
have called out, both in his public discharge of duty and 
in private and sorial intercourse, that same ,varm admiration 
which had followed him in the former period of his life. 
In his sermons, he. went far above his former level, and 
began to develop that combination of the lJest and most 
perfect elements of sacred eloquence, ,vhich, in tbe estima- 
tion of the most impartial and conlpetent judges, placed 
him in the first rank of preachers. The present bishop of 
Charleston, whose pre-eminent learning and high qualities 
of mind are well kno,vn, pronounced one of F. Baker's 
discourses a perfect sermon" and the best he had ever heard. 



REV. FJL\.NCIS .A. BAKER. 


169 


The Catholics of Charleston never sa,v Father Baker again; 
but they never forgot hiIn, and he never forgot thelll; for, 
during the rest of his too short life, he recurred frequently to 
the remembrance of that mission, which "
as so rich in the 
highest kind of pleasure, as ,veIl as spiritual profit and 
Llessing. 
.L\.t that tÍlne, all ,vas peace. SUlllter was solitary and 
silent, untenfinteù by a single soldier. Fort Moultrie anti 
Sullivan's Island, and the beautiful battery and the bay ,yere 
calm and peaceful, where, a few years later, all 'vas black and 
angry ,vith the terrible thunder-stol'lll of ,val". Blackened 
ruins are all that remain of that beautiful cathedral and the 
pleasant home of the clergy. SOlue of those clergymen have 
died in attending the sick soldiers of the United States, and 
others are scattered in different places. Many of those fine 
young men and bright boys have left their bodies on the 
battle-field, or lost the 1100m and vigor of their youth in the 
ullwholesolue calllp or hospital or Il1ilitary prison. The good 
Sisters haye been driven from one shelter to another, by the 
telTible necessities of a desperate warfare, whose luiseries 
they have courageously striven to alleviate by their heroic 
charity. Charleston has been desolated, and the Church of 
Oharleston has shared in the common ruin. Nevertheless, 
there is every reason to hope that this teluporary period of 
desolation will be succeeded in due time by one lllore aus- 
picious for the soliù and extensive progress of tbe Catholic 
.religion than any which hps yet been seen, in that vast 
region where the eloquent voice of Bishop England pro- 
claimed the blessed faith of the true and apostolic Ohurch of 
Christ. 
After the conclusion of the Charleston mission, 
'. Baker 
returned to Annapolis, ai1d remained there in charge of the 
little parish attached to the convent, until the following Sep- 
tember. One of his companions, the invalid of St. Augustine, 
went to Cuba to re-establish his health; and the other three, 
8 



170 


MEMOIR OF 


after giving several other lnissions in New York State, re- 
turned also to summer quarters. 
The missionary labors in which F. Baker bad been thus far. 
engaged, were, comparatively speaking, but a light and pleas- 
ant prelude to the continuous and arduous missionary career 
. of a little more tban seven years, w'hicb he cOffilnenced in the 
autumn of 1857. At the very outset he was obliged to Inake 
a decision of a very grave and iInportant matter, 'which rc- 
sulted in a still more complete separation from the scenes and 
associates of his past life, and threw him more cOlTIpleteIy upon 
a pure and conscientious devotion to his priestly duties for the 
sake of God alone, as his only èonsolation in this world. 
One of our number was at that time in R01l1e, for the pur- 
pose of obtaining froln the chief aÚthority a settlement of 
certain difficulties which had al
isen, and ,vhich in1peded the 
successful and harmonious prosecution of the nlissions. The 
question was finally settled by a separation of five AU1crican 
Redemptorists, by a brief of the Iloly Father, froln their for- 
mer congregation, and the forluation of the new Congregation 
of St. Paul, under episcopal authority. F. Baker was for the 
first tÏlne infonned of the reasons for appealing to the decision 
of the Holy Father, at -the mission of St. J aUles's Church, 
Newark, which commenced on the 2ôth of September, 1857. 
I have no intention of exposing thë history of the difference 
which arose between us and our foriner religious superiors, or 
of making a riticislll upon their conduct. If the providence 
of God ordered events in such a way tbat a ne,,," congregation 
should be formed for a special })urpose, it is notIdng now or 
strange that men, having a different vocation, and ,vhose views 
and aims were cast in a different mould, should w"Îth the most 
conscientious intentions, be unable to coincide in judgn1ent 
or act in concert. There is room in the Catholic Ohurch for 
every kind of religious organization, suiting all the varieties 
of l11ind and character and circumstance. If collisions and 
misunderstandings often COlne between those ,-rho have the 



REV. FRANCIS Á. B..lKER. 


171 


same great end in view, this is the result of hUlnan infirmity, 
and only shows ho\v imperfect and partial are }unnan wisdom 
nnd ]nunan virtuc. ..A..ll that I :1111 concerned to show is, that 
F. Daker did not s,yerve from his original purpose in choos- 
ing the reHgious state. I e had never been discontented 
,vith his state, or with his superiors. lIe "Yê1S still in tbe first 
fer,Tor of his vocation, and had just Inade a strict and exact 
retreat. IIe deliberated for some weeks "within his O\\Yll n1Ïlld, 
without saying or doing any thing to cOlnmit Lilnself to any 
particular line of conduct. 'Vhen he finalIy made up his 
mind to cast in his lot with his Inissionary companions, and 
to abide with them the decision of the !Ioly I
ather, it "yas 
solely in view of serving God and his fello,v-men in the 1110St 
perfect Inal1ner. For the congregation ,yhcre lIe was trained 
to- the religious and ecclesiastical state, be always retained a 
sincere esteem and affection. lIe did not ask the rope for a 
dispensation from Ilis T'OWS in order to be re1ieved fron1 a 
burdensome obligation, but only on the condition tbat it 
sec1ned best to hÍ1n to terminate the difficulty which had 
arisen in that way. When the dispensation was granted, he 
did not change his life for a. 11101'e easy onc. TIe resisted a 
pressing solicitation to return to BaltÎ1nore as a. secular priest, 
and continued until his death to labor in a missionary life, 
and to practise the poverty, the obedience, the assiduity in 
prayer and meditation, and the seclusion from tbe world, 
which belong to the religious state. Let no one, therefore, ,,,ho 
is disposed to yield to te1nptations against his yocation, and 
to abandon the religious state from '\\?eariness, tepidity, or 
any unworthy motive, think to :find any encouragement in 
the example of F. Baker; for his austere, self-denying, and 
arduous life "\,ill give hun only rebuke, and not encourage- 
ment. 
During the entire autulllll and winter of this year, F. 
Baker and his companions 'v ere oûcupied in a continuous 
course of large and successful missions, in the parishes of St. 



172 


:MEMOIR OF 


J ames, Newark; Cold Spring and Poughkeepsie, on the IIud- 
son; St. John's, Utica, N. Y. ; Brandy,vine, Del. ; Trenton, N. 
J.; Burlington, Brandon, East and \Vest Rutland, "\Tt. ; Platts- 
burg, Saratoga, and Little Falls, New York. "\V ith loyal 
hearts ,ve continued to obey our 
uperiors, and fulfil our obli- 
gations as Reden1ptorists, until the supreme autholity in the 
Church released us by his decree. This decree was issued on 
the 6th of J\Iarch, 1858, and received by us on the 6tb of April. 
After the J\Iission of Little Falls, F. Daker was directed by the 
Provincial to return to Annapolis, 
nd although fatigued by 
the Inissions, and aware tbat his dispensation ,vas on the ,yaJ, 
yet, true to the letter to his principle of obedience, he obeyed 
at once. The other three missionaries passed the IToly Week 
and Easter in the convent of New York, in Third street, and, 
after receiving tbe official copy of tbe Papal decree, bade 
farewell to tbe congregation where we had passed so many 
happy years, and ,vitnessed so Inany edifying exalnples of 
high virtue and devoted zeal, to enter upon a ne,v and untriel1 
undertaking. 
Our first asylum was the hom
 of Geo. V. Hecker, Esq., who 
kindly gave up to our use a portion of his house as a EttIe 
telnporary convent, where we remained SOlp.e weeks, saying 
l\Iass in his beautiful private chapel, which was completely 
furnished ,,
ith every thing necessary for that purpose. The 
Bishop of Newark had made an arrangelnent to receive us 
under his jurisdiction, as soon as our relation to our congrega- 
tion was ternlÎnated, and faculties from the diocese of N e,v 
York were obtained from the archbishop. We continueJ to 
follo,v our accustomed mode of life, and obey our former Su- 
perior of the J\Iissions. After a short time we gave a n1ission 
at Watertown, in the diocese of Albany, and were not a little 
cncourag
d by receiving, late on the Saturday eyening before 
the mission ,,"'as opened, the special faculties \\Thich had been 
obtained for each one of us at Ron1e, for giving the Papal 
Benediction. The grand and spacious church of this beautiful 



HEY. FR
\NCIS A. EAKEn. 


173 


town, which is v;orthy to 1e a cathedral fron1 its size ana ur- 
chitcctur
, ,yas cro,yded by the largest nUHlber of Prote;:;tallts 
'\"C had cv"er seen on sil11ilar occasion
, find a nU111be1' of con- 
verts ,vere received into the Church. FroB1 Waterto,\"u ,YO 
came to St. Bril1get"s Church in New 1.ork, wherc 'we had 
onc of our largest, Inost laborious, and n10st fl'uitfullni

ions. 
This "\\.as the fir;;t oile of tLose hea\.y city lllis:;ions so fì'equellt 
during our early career, at ,vL.icù. F. Daker had assisted, ,,
here 
the crowds of })eople "were so over".helllling, and the laùör 80 
excessive and exhausting. IIc went into Lis ",york ,vith 
a brave spirit and an untiring zea1, and scarcely allo".- 
cd hinlself even a breathing-spell. Thc love and adn1Ïl'ation 
,vhich tbe \varIn-hearted peoplc of this congregation aCf!uir- 
cd for him was ncver din1Înishcd, and there ,,,"as no one ,,
hou1 
they ever after lo\-cù so l11uch to see reyisiting their church. 
Defore the close, F. TIecker arrived ii'onI nOn1e, 
fter a year"s 
absencc, bringing a special bcnediction from the IIoly Father 
npon our future labors, and a "arm C0l111nendatory letter 
frolTI the Carl1inal Prefect of the Propaganda. .1Ìt the end 
of the mission ,ye found olÌrselvcs ,vithout a hon1e, and ,ve 
remained so until the spring of the follo\ying year, depend
 
cut for the most part on the hospitality of individual friends 
among the clergy and laity for a tenlporary shelter. For a 
short tÌ1ne we were obliged to take lodgings in an ordinary 
respectable boarding-house in Thirteenth street, near scyeral 
churches and chapels, where "e could say 1tIass every dnJT, 
without incommoding anyone. Our kind friend and gener- 
ous patron, 
Ir. Hecker, afterward gave up to us his ,\hole 
house, while his fami1y were in the country; leaving his se1'- 
yants, and making ample provision for furnishing us ,yith 
every comfort in the most hospitable style. During the SUffi- 
TIler, the "Congregation of :Missionary Priests of St. Paul the 
Apostle" was organized, nnder the approbation and authority 
of the archbishop; and arrangements were commenced for 
the foundation of a religious house and church, ,,6th a paro- 



17'1: 


}IE
IOIR OF 


chial charge annexed. 'Vhile ,ye were occupying Mr. 
IIecl
er's house, t\VO burglars entered the building one night, 
through a ,vindow incautiously left open, caIne -into the :room 
occupied by F. Baker and one of his companions, and robbed 
theln of thcir ,vatches, which were fortunately of small value, 
some articles of clothing,like,vise not very costly, and a tri- 
fling amount of "loose change; but, seeing two other n1en of 
no small stature in the adjoining room, prudently decamped,- 
,vithout finding a nUlnber of costly articles belonging to the 
chapel, although they had examined the dra"wer ,vhere the 
albs and alnices were kept. None of us were a,vakened, and 
the' first ne"
s we had of the midnight raid upon our territory 
,vas given by F. Baker exclaiming that his coat had been 
stolen. We laughed at him at first, but it ,vas soon discov- 
ered that his intelligence ,vas correct, and tbat the next house 
had been visited also by the robbers. This adventure gave 
occasion for a great deal of mirth among ourselves, and Hlany 
speculations as to the probable results of an encounter with 
the robbers, in case we had a,vakened, in which fatal conse- 
quences to the latter were freely predicted. As usual in 
such cases, the police examined the matter, gave very saga- 
cious information as to the mode of entrance and exit, and 
discovered no trace of the burglars thell1sel,es. We were 
only too happy that the chalice and vestments had not been 
carried off. 
The burden which was assumed by our slnall comillunity 
was a very heavy one. It was necessary for us to continue 
the missions witbout interruption, and at the same time to 
provide the means of making a permanent foundatibn, which 
could not be done ,vithout securing property, and erecting a 
church and religious house at a cost of about $65,000. 
During this time of struggle for life, F. Baker was one of the 
main stays of the Inissions, and one of the lllost arduous and 
efficient of our number in working at the collection of funds 
and the organization of the parish. After a summer spent 



REV. FR
\KCIS A. BAKER. 


175 


in this latter wnrk, a course of 111Ïssions ,vas cOIDlllenced in 
Septenlber, the first of ,vhich ".as a hea\'y one, in a congre- 
gation l1ulllbering 5,000 souls, at the cathedral of Providence, 
in ,vhich ,ye ,yere all engaged. The next ,\-as a retreat 
giren to men alone, aud specifically to the menlòers of the 
Society of 81. Vincent de Paul, in the cathedral of Ke,v York. 
F. Baker closed it ,vith a magnificent serIn. in his happiest 
vein, on "The Standard of Chri:,tian Character for lllen in the 
world." The following notice of the retreat, taken fronl the 
Freelnan's Journal, is more graphic than any that I can give, 
and I therefore quote it entire, in place of describing it in my 
0'\""11 language :- 
"The retreat given by the band of Missionaries of St. 
Paul the Apostle to members of St. Vincent de Paul's Society, 
and other men of this city, closed on Sundaye\ening, the 
Rev. Father Baker preaching an admirable serlllon on the 
characteristics of Ohristian perfection for IHen in the ,vorld. 
During the week that this retreat has continued, the num 1>0r 
of men approaching the sacraments was about t,vo thousand. 
The religious effects of the occasion will be great and per- 
lnanent. But besides results that the Catholic faith leads 
to expect, St. Patrick"s Cathedral has, the past week, pre- 
sented a subject for thought and astonishment to the observ- 
ing and reflecting man, thoúgh not a Catholic. What has 
gathered these crowds of busy, practical men 
 \Vhat keeps 
them kneeling, or standing quietly in solid Inasses, for an 
hour before the exercises commence 
 ]'Iost of these men 
rose from their beds at four o'clock, some as early as half-past 
three, and made long walks through the darkness to secure 
their standing-place in the church during the early instruc- 
tions. They hear from the pulpit solid, distinct, earnest in- 
structions in regard to what a man must believe, and in 
regard to what he must do to attain eternal life when this 
world is past. But ,vhence comes this lively appreciation of 
truths beyond the reach of the senses, in the Ininds of men 



176 


MEMOIR OF 


plunged all day long, and every day, in ll1aterial occupa- 
tions 
 Here are ll1en of the class that, in communities not 
Catholic, do not suffer religion to interfere with their comfort 
-who like best to discuss the points of their religious profes- 
sion after dinner, and to listen to sermons while seated in 
cushioned pews. What causes them thus to stand in the 
packed throng of the faithful, listening to the homely details 
of daily duties required of them, or kneeling on the hard 
floor, repeating with the Inultitude, in a loud voice, the 
prayers they learned in childhood 
 Then, these sons of 
humblest toil that kneel beside them. All the heat and 
excitement of the "revival" failed to bring any considerable 
number of the corresponding class of non-Catholics to the 
"prayer-meetings." The latter Inentioned would say that 
they had to look out for their daily bread, and that the rich 
Inen at the prayer-meetings did not want them any way. 
Here they are at St. Patrick's, by five o'clock in the morn- 
ing, and either they do without their breakfast, or it was 
dispatched an hour or more before. These various classes of 
men, having attended the exercises given by the 
Iissionaries of 
St. Paul, during the week, stood crowded within St. Patrick's 
on Sunday evening. The parting instruction of the mission- 
aries was to stir them, by all the courage and fervor and en- 
durance that they had Inanifested during the retreat, to fix 
higher principles and firmer purposes for the guidance of 
their future life-to be faithful to every duty, to their fami- 
lies, to society, and to themselves-to be manly in their reli- 
gious observances, and generous in sacrificing for their faith 
and for God every attachment that brings scandal on their 
religion or danger to their own virtue. A t the close of the 
exercises by the missionaries, the Mm:;t Rev. Arch bishop 
Hughes made some remarks to the vast congregation. lIe 
said he found no necessity of adding any thing to what the 
lI1Ïssionaries, according to the special objects of their calling, 
had done, to cause t.he truths most appropriate and necessary 



REV. FRAYCffi A. B
KE& 


177 


to sink into hearts so well prepared to receive and l'etaill 
then1. TIut the spectacle before hill1 "as one he coulù not 
let pasa ,,'ithont some words e
l1re

i, e of hi:; gratification. 
"\Vhen a fe\\T Catholic young mon first met in the archbi
hop's 
hou
o to form tho first Conference of St. \"Tiucent de Paul, he 
had forlncd high anti
ipations of the good their associ

tion 
would do each other anù the Catholic cOlnn1unity at large. 
IIere, to-night, he s
nv the realization of his hopes. ",V11ell 
he reflected on the influence that 11lUst be exerted on the 
Catholic body, and on this great city-where, aln
, there ,va::;, 
no other religion capable of influencing and restraining men 
except the Catholic-by so great a company of men in- 
structed in their religion, aud fervent in itd practice-he had 
the wish that such meetings for these exercises, lllight, at 
intervals, be repeated in all the Catholic churches in the 
ity. 
lIe then thanked the mi
sionaries for their Ia bors- he 
knew they asked Dot thanks froll1 men-but still it ,,,Tas due 
that he, in the n
nne of those who had been hencfited by their 
exercises, shoulù thank then1. 
,. This retreat for men has. been, in some respects, of espe- 
cial interest, and has been highly successful; and, for the com- 
plete satisfaction that it has afforded, it nlust be said that 
nothing ,,-hich discreet forethought and arrangemen t, or 
affectionate zeal and assiduity could effect, ,vas left undone 
by the Very Rev. )11'. Sta1'rs, V. G. and Rector of the 
Cathedral." 
The third D1ission was given at the cathedral of Covington, 
when the follo,ving circumstance occurred. A Protestant 
gentleman, who was present one evening, had a phial of 
poison in his pocket, with which he was fully determined to 
destroy his o,vn life; but the sermon of F. Baker on the 
Particular Judgment made such a po,verfUl illlpression on his 
Inind that he threw a,vay the poison and disclosed to his 
friends what his desperate purpose had been. FroIll Coving- 
tOll, F. Hecker retm'ned to New York, to attend to our affairs 
8* 



178 


1\IEMOIR OF 


there, and F. Baker with. two cOlllpanions went on a tour of 
missions, ,vhich continued from Novelnber until Christmas, 
in the State of Michigan. The flourishing parishes located 
in the pretty villages of Kalamazoo, 1tlarshall, J acksoll, and 
Ann Arbor, were the ones visited. The last of these lllis- 
sions deserves a special notice, which I extract from the 
" Records" :- 
" The pastor of the church in Ann Arbor has two congre- 
gations under his charge, one at Ann Arbor, and the other at 
N orthfield. The latter is the larger of the two, and it was 
earnestly desired that we should give them a separate mis- 
Si011. \Ve were told that it was vain to expect them to come 
to the service at Ann Arbor, and, as they were al
eady jealous 
of the Ann Arbor people, if we did not give them a Inission 
of their own, their dissatisfaction would bo increased, and we 
should do lllore harm than good by our visit. We on our 
part would have been willing to give theln a double mission; 
but as there was no house near the Northfield church where 
the missionaries could lodge, it was decided to ùe Î111possible, 
and we concluded that one of the fathers should go out on 
Sunday and announce the mission to the N orthfield people, 
and invite them to attend at Ann Arbor. The result proved 
the wisdom of the decision, for the people came in frolTI the 
country in crowds, thus increasing the life and anilnation of 
the mission. The weather was mild and pleasant, the nights 
,vere bright and Illoonlit, and every n10rning and evening 
crowds of wagons 'v ere drawn up around the church, some 
from ten, some from fifteen, and some even froln twenty Iniles 
off. The church was crowded by five o'clock in the morning, 
and the congregation, not content with assisting at one ]'fass 
and the Instruction, relnained until late in the morning, when 
the 1tlasses were all over. In the evening, the crowd vIas 
rendered still denser by the large representation of Protest- 
ants who attended. On tho last night, the cro,vd was so 
great, that not only ,vas the church packed in every part to 



REV. FRANCIS Ä. D..\KER. 


179 


it::; utmost capacit.r, but even the wiUl10ws were :fillcd with 
young n1en \,ho had climbed up "from without, and the trees 
around the church offered a perch for those \\'ho had to con- 
tqllt the111sel\"c3 \vith a. bird\,-e.re view of the scene." 
I have noticed this mi:;sion more particularly, because this 
:N orthfield congregation 'Was a specimen of sevcral Catholic 
farming communities with which we came in contact on our 
missions. The prosperity, happiness, and virtue \vhich I hav
 
founel existing among tbis class of our peoplc, induce me to 
recommend most earnestly to all those who have at heart the 
w'elfare of our Catholic Irish population, to promote in every 
way their devoting themselves to agricultural pursuits in the 
country. It woula be a great blessing if the large to\rns coulù . 
1e depletcd of the surplus population with which they arc 
overcrowded, and the tide of immigration diverted from them, 
to be distributed over our vast territory. This agricultural 
life is incomparably more \vholesome, more happy, and more 
favorable to virtue and piety than the feverish, comfortless, 
and unnatural existence to which the mass of the laboring 
class are condemned in large cities. It is free from a thousand 
influences vitiating both to the soul.and the body, and, above 
all things, better for the proper training of children. Our 
young 111en and women of ..ámerican origin arc deserting this 
agricultural life, and leaving vacant the fields of their fathers, 
to plunge into a more exciting and adventurous life, which 
proluises to satisfy Iuore speedily their desire for "\\
ealth. Let 
our young Irishmen, who come here to find a better :fielù for 
their strength and vigor than they have at home, and those 
who have gro,vn up here, but find themselves unable to get n. 
proper :field for their industry in the old and crowded settle- 
ments, come in and take their places, leave the cities, shun 
the factory to-wns, and strike into the open country. Sobriety, 
industry, and prudence, will secure to every young man of 
this sort, in due time, the position of an independent land- 
holder. There is a hidden treasnre of wealt1l, health, virtue, 



180 


MEMOIR OF 


and happiness in the soil, which will richly reward those who 
dig for it, and will also enrich both the country and the 
Church. 
I may also mention with pleasure, in connection with the 
Ann Arbor Mission, my agreeable recollections of the polite 
attentions ,ve received frolll the president and gentlemen of 
the University of 1tlichigan. This is by no means a solitary 
instance of courtesy extended to us in the Protestant com- 
munity. In many parts of the United States, we have 
received the most polite and friendly attentions, and occasion- 
ally hospitable entertainment, both from clergymen and 
laymen of different religious denominations, as well as a 
general manifestation of respect and good-will on thQ part 
of the community. Son1etimes the lllission has excited ill- 
will, and obstacles have been thro,vn in the way of domestics 
and other dependent persons attending it. But in many 
other cases, not only has there been no interference, but 
every facility has been given, by owners of factories, ,vbo 
have shortened the time of work and given leave of absence, 
and by Inasters and mistresses of fan1ilies, who bave excused 
their servants from their ordinary work, and even furnished 
tnem with conveyances, when they Jived at a distance. 
From l\Iichigan, the Inissionaries returned to New York, 
and after New Year's, being rejoined by Father Hecker, gave 
a mission in St. l\Iary's Churcll, New IIaven, a large and 
very flourishing parish, ,vhich is, ho,vever, only one of three 
in the classic "City of Elms;" ,vhere, thirty-five years ago, 
there was not a Catholic to be found, except, perhaps, one or 
two serving-men in ,vcalthy families. 
After this mission., I revisited several of the places "\vhere 
we had given missions in South Carolina and Georgia, to 
solicit aid for our infant community, which was given in a 
]iberal and generous manner, ,vorthy of those ,,,"arm-hearted 
Catholics, who, I trust, will receive a similar return from 
their Northern brethren, whenever they ask for it, to enable 



REY. FRANCIS Â. BAKER. 


181 


them to repair the ruin which has been made alnong theu1 
hy civil ,yare 
During my absence, two missions were given by the other 
three f
ühers-one at Princeton, where the church was broken 
ùo,vn by the throng, and ,vhose young pastor has since joined 
our <?on1ffiunity: another at Bclleville, ,vhich has been so 
beautifully ðescribec1 by the :uniable pastor of that place, that 
I cannot refi'ain from copying his sketch:- 
" At the above-mentioned place, the Rev. Fathers IIecker, 
Deshon, and Baker opened a mi:::,::;iun, Sunday, February 1:3, 
which continued during a week, and closed on the evening 
of the Sunday fgllo,ving. To say that it was n10st successful, 
is toe. cold an expression; and to call it 1110st impressiv.c, 
beautiful, nnll trilllnphallt, can give no adequate il1ea of its 
enchanting power. During the ",veek of its continuance, 
the hill that is crowned by the gracefhl Church of St. Peter, 
with its tall steeple and gilùed cross, Inarking the first of a. 
series of elninences that rise higher and higher west,vard 
froln the River Passaic, has almost realized 
fount Thabor. 
The eager people of the country round had heen heforehand 
preparing for the arrival of the missionaries, and no sooner 
did the good fathers come than the faithful people rose up 
in haste to meet theln. Dow'u they caIne, the children of old 
RosconllIlon and :ThIayo, froln the romantic hills of Caldwell 
on the west, along the glades and ,yoody slopes of Bloon1field, 
saluting, as they passed, their newly-built Church of' Onr 
Lady of the Immaculate Conception.' Onward and. up\yard, 
too, were hastening froln the north and cast, through .Acquac. 
kanouck and Belleville, those ,vho long ago left the Boyne 
and the Luir, the Liffey and Shannon, to cultivate the valley 
of the scarcely less beautiful Passaic. .A thin, sparkling frost 
still lay upon the roads; and the cri;:;ping sOlmds of their 
hurrying feet, 'beautiful with glad tidings,' and their cheer- 
fully ringing voices, far and near, were heard along the banks 
anfl over the drawhridge of that beautiful river-beautifnl at 


.. 



182 



IEMOIR OF 


half-past four in the balmy morning air-quivering under the 
hoverin
, ,valling lnoon, the deep-blue sky, and the twinkling 
stars. But the people of the valley have ascended the hill 
from ,vhence the loud bell of St. Peter's steeple has been 
awakening the country for miles around with its clear and 
Looming sounds. They meet their brethren from Bloon
field 
and Cald,vell, and pause for a lnoment before the double 
flight of steps leading up to the portico of the church. Every 
windo,v gleams with light. The organ and choir are inton- 
ing and singing the Litany of the Blessed Virgin l\Iary, 
'Sancta Virgo Virginum,' , Holy Virgin of Virgins, pray for 
us.' 'I thought I was before the bell,' exclainls a young 
,vornan, just COIne from several miles off, as sbe flits hastily 
through tbe doorway to be in time for 
lass. But the priest, 
in his shining vestlnents, ,vith his little surpliced attendants, 
is already at the altar; and, it being five o'clock, the first 
Mass of the lnorning has punctually begun. The weather, 
ho,,-'ever, at two or three other intervals of the mission, ,vas 
not quite 
o propitious, nor the roads so pleasant; for tha-,ys 
anJ occasional rain had softened the latter to a disagreeable 
exte
t. But this mattered nothing to the seanlless robe 
of the Faith, ,vhich is proof against all weathers; for St. 
Peter's was thronged lTIOrlling and evening alike ,vhile 
the Inission lasted. Many ,vcre the exp8dients resorted to by 
poor mothers, for trusty guardians to mind the little ones 
during their absence at church. In several instances, a 
Illother ,voul<l charge herself ,vith tbe children of t\VO or 
three others; or some kind-hearted Protestant would take 
this care upon her. But not unfrequently the little ones ,,,"ore 
deposited in the baselnent of the church; and it was interest- 
ing to S8e the German mother place her infant in the lrish- 
,voman's 
rms, while she herself hastened up ,vith the cro,vd 
to receive conln1union at the altar-rail-a crowd of old anò 
young, dotted here and. there ,vith the Hollander, thC' Ger- 
lnan, the French, and the English or American Cat.holic. 



REV. FR.1.SCIS A. DAKER. 


183 


The ßlorning instruction ,vas usually given by Father IIecker, 
who....e appearance and lUanneI' were ".ell calculated to cheer 
up the people, cyen to alaerity, under their daily difficulties 
of faithful attendance, late and early, on the nlÌ::;:3Ïon-vdle- 
the1' he related the anecdote of the old man, ,vho, early in 
the 1110rning, after 1110st deterlnineù efforts to be faithful to 
the n1Ïs3ioll, vanquished the temptation of his \\'ar111 bcd, and 
finally succeeded in reaching the church in t11(;; teeth of a 
snow-stornl, with inverted umbrella; or, ,vhen urging the 
duty of virtuous perseverance, he gave his cclebrated allegory 
of the pike of the l\Iississippi, ,,,,110, terrified one night by an 
ul1u:::\ual display of fireworks on its banks, vowed be ,vonlù 
s'wallo\v no III ore little fishes, but aftel',vard relapsed into 
his intemperate proclivities, and becaßle ,yorse than Cyc:'. 
In the evening, Father Deshon ended his J110St interesting in- 
struction ,vith the recitation of the Rosary, respondcd to 
aloud by the ,yItole congregation. This ,vas follo,ycd hy 
Father Baker's serUlon and the Benediction of the Dlessed 
Sacranlent. Besides the overflowing attendance of the faith- 
ful, the kno\vledge of the Inissionaries the I11sel ves being Amer- 
icans anù converts from Protestantism, brought hundreds 
of rrote:3tants of a11 clfL

es nightly, ß1fLny of ,vhonl ,vere 
present at e\rery sernlon; and hey "yere as sensibly 1110ved 
even to tears anù audible grief, by the po\ver and holiness of 
the preacher's eloquence, as the Catholics thenlselves. nut 
the last night's scene \villlong be remembered-the renc\val 
of baptislnal vow's, with uplifted hands, by the entire aSSCl11- 
blage, w'hich the strongly-bui1t church someho,v or other con- 
tri ved to accolIlIHodatc, sitting and standing in the pe\vs, 
passages, gallery, and sacristy, and close around the sanctuary, 
to the nUIllber of 80111e thirteen or fourteen hundred. The 
interior of the church ,vas but lately remodcl1eù and decorated, 
and its pale rose-colored ,vans and ceiling ,vere charlningly 
varied by their ,vhite ornarnental centers and panelled mould- 
Ings. The statnes of the Blessed Virgin and. St. Peter at 



184 


}IEMOIR OF 


either side of the sanctuary rested on tasteful pedestals, ,vhieh 
supported four lofty Oorinthian columns and their piJasters. 
These pure ,vhite, fluted, and tapering cohllnns, ,vith their 
rich capitals and entablaturp" the altar, tabernacle, and 
ahnost life-size crucifix, the high-raised lnarble font and its 
pendent baptislnal robe of sno,vy lace-all these, contrasted 
,vith the dark and lofty 111issionary cross, and the crucifixion 
,vinding scarf hung at}nvart it, becan18 of an almost ,vhite 
and dazzling beauty, amid the innu1l1erable lights, silver- 
and gilded candelabra, and vases of a countless variety of 
natural flowers. It is a pleasing thought, that lnuch of the 
plate alluded to ,vas lent for the occasion by kind-hearteù 
Protestants of the neighborhood, in ,vhose estÏ1nation this 
Inission has exalted the Catholic Church to a surprising 
degree. At the saBle time it lnay be said, that fe\v or no places 
j n the country are more relnarkable than Belleville, N. J., for 
kind cordiality on the part of the Protestant cornmunity 
to,vard the Oatholic. nut the last scene, like a beautiful 
vision, is 110\V over. The Inissionaries have given their bless- 
ing to the cro\vd, among ,vhom is a Protestant young lady, 
who COIJ]es also to seek it hefore the carriage sha11 have boruc 
them a\vay. One convert \vas baptized on the lnorning of 
their departure. Another \vill be in a day or two hence. 

lore are in reserve for this sacred rite. U p,yard of eleven 
hundred and thirty Catholics have received the IIoly Eucha- 
rist; many of theln old men, and InallY youths, \vho, but for 
the influence of the lnission, \yonld not have approacheù the 
sacranlents for yeari3-perhaps never. Y onng, \VaVerillg 
Oatholics, already more than half lost to the faith, have been 
reclailned and fortified. ll. rich legacy of Oatholic truth has 
been left to vanquish falsehood and error, \vhich, in Belleville 
and its neighborhood, lnust cower for Inany a day before the 
melnory of the 
Iissionaries of St. Paul the Apostle." * 


* New Yark Tablet:- 



REV. FRAXCIS A. BAKER. 


185 


On the 20th of )Iareh, 18;)0, a n1Ïs:3ion "yas opened in St. 
Patriek's Church, Quebec, by the spcci.ll invitation of the 
.....\.{hninistrator of the diocese. It would be easy to fin pages 
with romini5cence3 of this Inission, given in n. city so re- 
plete with interest of every kind, and full of pleasant recol- 
lections. The Inission was a very large one; as "ye had seven 
thousand two hundred and fifty conullunions, and fifty con- 
verts received into the Church. It "as peculiarly satisfac.- 
tory, also, ii"onl the circumstance that the church ,vas large 
cnough to contain aU the people who desired to get in, 
though it ,yas densely cro,vdec1, and that the most abundant 
facilities were furnished to all who ,vished to COlne to confes- 
sion-there being" nineteen confessors, of ,,
hom fifteen 'v ere 
elergYlnen of the diocese. 
The soldiers of the garrison attend this church, ,vlere they 
have on Sunùays a special Mass and sermon from their chap- 
lain. The Thirty-ninth llegilnent, of Crimean Inemory, ,vas 
stationed there at tbat time, and as man
r as ,yore able to get 
lca\e
 ae; ,veIl as a nunlòcr of Catholic soldier8 from the artil- 
lery hattalion and the Canadian Rifles, attended the lllission. 
Some of these Cri
ean veterans made their first comInunion, 
and others came to confession ,vho had made their last con- 
fession before SOlne one of the great battles of the Crimea. 
One of them, who ,vas unablc to get through the cro,vd after 
service. arri yed after taps at his barracks, for ,vhich he ,vas 
sent b
'" the sergeant to the guard-house, and reported to th0 
colonel the next lnorning. Colonel Monroc, the same officer 
who cOlnmandecl the regirnent in the Crimea, tore up the re- 
port and released the soldier from custody, saying that it 
,vas a shame to punish a man for going to the mission, which 
had done his regiment lllore good than any thing else that 
ever happened in Quebec. 
'Ve had several in vitations to gi \re missions in the British 
Provinces, ,vhich it ,yas necessary to decline, and, after taking 
leave of Quebec, lrhere we had received such unbounded 



. 


186 


MEMOIR OF 


kindness and attention, both fronl the clergy and laity, ,ye 
gave our last mission for the' season in St. Peter's Church, 
Troy, -then under the care of Father Walworth. Froin Troy 
we returned to N ew York, where a small house had been 
rented for our use, near the site of our new religious houso 
and church. 
During the SUlllmer of 1859, the work of collecting funds, 
by public contributions in churches, and private subscriptions, 
was continued, and the building, ,vhich was to serve as a re- 
ligious house, was erected; a large portion of it ùeing thro'wn 
into a coml11odious and tolerably spacious chapel, ,vhich could 
be used as a temporary parish church for some years, until 
circunIstances would warrant the ereëtion of a permanent 
church edifice. The corner-stone ,yas laid by the archbishop, 
on Trinity Sunday, June 19, in presence of an Ï1nmense 
conconrse of people. On the 2!th of N oyember, the Feast 
of St. John of the C1'038,_ the house ,vas blessed hy the su- 
perior of the congregation, and take1I possession o:f. The 
first :Thíass 'Was said in it on the following daJ, in one of the 
r0011)S arranged as a private chapel. On the first Sunday of 
Advent, N ovelnber 27, the chapel was blessed, and SoleIllll 
1\Iass celebrated in it Ly the Vicar-General of the diocese; and 
from this tilne commenced the don bIe labors of both paro- 
chial and 111issionary duty. An accession to our slnalll1um- 
bel' of one IT10re priest, Father Tillotson, who had been pre- 
viously residing in England as a member of the Birn1ingham 
Oratory, enabled us to do this-an undertaking which would 
other,vise have been extremely difficult. Three of our nU1n- 
bel', of whom F. Eaker ,vas generally one, could now l)e 
spared for tho missions, leaving two in charge of the parish; 
and by relieving one another occasionally, the labor ,vas 
sOlnewhat liO'htened. Within the next tw.o years onr nnrn- 
ö 
 
bel' was further increased by the accession of two others-- 
one of whom, :F'. 'Vahvortb, had been for a long tin1e the su- 
perior of our missionary band, and now rejoined it, after 



. 


... 


nE V. FRANCIS A. B...\.KER. 


187 


a short interyal, in "yhich he had been fulfilling parochial 
duty as pastor of St. Peter's Church, Troy. Strengthened 
hy the
c acces:;ions, we "
ere enaùled, while our nUluber 1'e- 
luained undimini:shed by death, and all ,vere blessed. with 
the health and strength necessary to the performance of ac- 
th
e labor, to carryon a continuous course of Inissions during 
· seven years, dating from the tÍ1ne of our separate organiza- 
tion; and at the same time to bestow abundant care and at- 
tention on our continually increasing parish. Three of these 
Inissions "ere given in the British Provinces-in the (:athe- 
dral, cf St. J ohn'
, N. n., IIalifax, and Kingston, Canada, 
respectively; the renlaillder chiefly in New England, New 
ì
 ork, :N e'v Jersey, and Pennsyh
ania, with a smallllunlùer 
in the Western States. The details already given of previous 
11li:3sions are amply sufficient to give an idea of the ll1i8sion- 
ary life of F. Baker, and it would be wearisome to continue 
them. These seven :rears, with the 
ye
r immediately preced- 
ing theIn, comprise the most laborious and most fruitful por- 
tion of hi;:, too short pl'iestly life. 
he number of missions 
gi\
en in this period of seven years was se\enty-nine, with 
an aggregate of one hundred and sixty-si
 thousand commu- 
nions, tbe saI11e nU111ber with that of the missions of the pre- 
ceding seven years. Father Baker assisted at ;:,ixty-four of 
these missions, and at sixteen J)reviously given, lnaldng a 
SUl11-total of eighty. The number of converts from Protestant- 
ism registered is two hundred and sixty-three, and the record 
is Ì1l1perfect. Tw'o of these were Protestant clergynlen-one 
the rector of the Episcopal Church in Scranton, Pa. ; the other, 
the principal of tbe IIigh School in Pittsfield, 1\las5. 
It only remains now to S3Y a few words of the virtues ex- 
hibited by F. Baker, in his misÛonary, sacerdotal, and reli- 
gious life. Those high and noble ,irtues are best nlade known 
by a sitnple record in his deeds, and by the utterance which 
he has hiIns9lf bequeqthed in his own 8erl110118, in whicb the 
lofty standarJ of Christian perfection proposed to others is a 
silnple reflection of what he actually practised in bis life. 



188 


MEMOIR OF 


Father Baker usually passed fronl seven to eight months 
of every year in tbe labors of the lnissionary life, and in those 
labors, as a 111enlber of a body of hard-,vorking men, he "
as 
pre-cn1Înent for the assiduity and perseverance with which 
he devoted himself to the Illost arduous and fatiguing occu- 
pations of his peculiar state. lie usually said l\Iass at five 
o'clock, after whi('h he went to the confessional till half-past 
seven. From nine until one, and fi
onl three until half-past 
six, he was in his confessional, rarely leaving it e,,"en for a mo- 
nlent. At half-past seven, on those evenings when he was 
not to preach, he gave the instruction and recited the prayers 
,vhich preceded the principal sern10n. A c81lsiderable part 
of the relnaining time was taken up by reciting his office and 
other private religious duties, leaving but very little for relax- 
ation, and none ,,,batever for exercise, unless it was snatched 
at SOlne brief interval, or required by the distance of the 
church fi'OIlI the pastor's residence. During the first few days 
of each mission, the confessionals were not opened, and the 
preacher of the evening sermon ,vas al,vays freed from its 
la150rs in the afternoon. Frequently, however, those first 
days were devoted to a special lnission given to the children 
of the congregation; and J? Baker ,vas always pro1l1pt and 
ready to fulfil this duty, ,yhich he did in the most adlni- 
rable lnanner, adapting hÎ1nself ,yith fI.I charming and ,yin- 
ning grace and s
mplicity to the tender age and understand- 
ing of the little ones, and reciting with them beautiful forms 
of Ineditation and prayer, composed by hilnself, during th8 
whole time of the !Iass at \\"hich they receiyed communion. 
The hardest part of the ,vor1e of the mission, after the con- 
fessions began, ,vas continued during froln fi. ve to cleven 
successive days, according to the size of the congregation, and 
requiring froln ten to twelve hours of constant lnental applica- 
tion cach day. Besides this necessary and ordinary vlork, per- 
formed ,vith the most patient and unflagging assiduity, F. Ba- 
1\c1' often employed all tbe remaining intervals of time-not 



REV. FR}tXCIS A. BAKE!t. 


189 


taken up ùy meals and sleep-in instructing adult Catholics 
,vho had neycr been prepared for the sacraluent5, and in in- 
structing and receiving convert
. ",Vhereyer there w.as any 
,york of charity to be done, he undertook it quietly, promptly, 
3nd checrfuHy, ahvays really to spare other:5, and 'willing to 
relieve thClli by assulnillg their duties ,vItcn they ,yore ex- 
hausted or un ,veIl, selùoln a
king to be relieved hÍIn:sclf. It 
,,
as neyer necessary to remind :F. Baker of Lis duty, lunch 
less to give him any positive command. During a long conrse 
of missions, in which I was superior, 'with }'. TIakcr a
ny 
COllstant cOlnpanion and my as:3ociate in preac-hing the 
lnission sermons, and one other long-tried cOlnpanion as the 
preacher of the catechetical instructions, I rcmem1er, "with 
peculiar satisfaction, how' perfect was the harulony ,vith 
. 
which "
e co-operated with one another, without the least ne- 
cessity of any exercise of authority, or any di::;agrecll1cnt of 
n10n1eut. 
To understand funy how arduous "
as the ,york vd1Ìch F. 
Baker performed, it n1ust be considered tbat not 0111y ,vas 
his lnind and his ,vhole llloral nature taxed to the utmost by 
the continued effort necessary in order to fulfil his duty as a 
preacher and confessor, but that it ,vas done under circlun- 
stances most unfavorable to healt15., shut up in crowded, ill- 
ventilated 1'OOI11S, pressed upon by Ï1npatient throngs, forced 
to strain the vocal organs to the utmost in large churches 
crowded with dense masses of people, and often obliged to 
pass suddenly fronl an overheated and stifling atmosphere 
into an intensely cold or damp air, and ah\
ays obliged to 
,vork, for several hours in thé lnorning, fasting. Such a. life 
is a very severe strain upon one who has only the ordinary 
.AJnerican constitution, especially if his ten1peralnent is deli- 
eate and unaccustomed to hard::::hip in early life. The alnount 
of work w'hich F. Baker perforrned ,vas not equal to that 
,vhich lllauy European missionaries are able to endure, espe- 
cial1y those ,vho have an unusually robust constitution. 



190 


MEMOIR OF 


But it was greater than that which St. Alphonsus hitnself re- 
quired of the missionaries who were under his own personal 
direction. The average duration of a career of continuous 
missionary labor in Europe is only ten years, and it is there- 
fore not surprising that F. Baker ,vas able to continue such 
constant and arduous exertions, with the other duties which 
de\
olved on him during the intervals of missions, for no 
longer a period than eight years. 
At least as far back as the year 1861, be began to suffer 
from a n1alady of the throat, and to find the eHort of preach- 
ing painful. Nevertheless, he continued to perfOrlTI his full 
share of this duty until within a yef\r before his death. Oc- 
casionally it would be necessary to relieve him of some of 
his serlnons; and on the last Inission which we gave together, 
,vhich ,vas in St. James's Church, Salen1, :Massachusetts, he 
asked to be relieved altogether both from the senTIons and the 
short instructions ,yhich precede them. This Inission ,vas 
given during the Inol1th of January, 18G5. F. Baker assisted 
at two other luissions after this, one at .L\..rchbald, in Pennsyl- 
vania, and the other at Birmingham, Connecticut, at each of 
which he preached four sermons.. His last lllission sern1011 
,vas preached, February 18, 1865, six weeks before his death; 
"rbich occurred on the last day of the next u1Íssion but one, 
given at Clifton, Staten Island-twelve years from the time 
of his .receiving bis first communion at the mission in the 
Cathedral of Baltimore. 
In the discharge of the duties allotted to him in tIle parisI}, 
:F. Baker labored with the sanle zeal and assiduit.y as he did 
in the rrlÍssions. He ,vas particularly charged with the care 
. of the altar and the divine sel
vice in the church, for ,vhich 
his thoroughly sßcerdotal spirit, his exquisite taste, and his 
cßmplcte acquaintance ,vith the rubrics and the details of 
, eccle3iastical rites and ceremonies, gave him a special fitness. 
He took unwe::tl'ied pains and care in providing y.estInents 
and ornaments, preserving the sanctuary an.d all appertain ø 



REV. FRANCIS Å. DAKER. 


191 


ing to it in order anù neatness, docorating the church for 
great fC5ti\
ah
, traÏ1
ng up the boys ,,'ho served at thc altar, 
and directing the Inanner of perforilling the dh-ine offices. 
This Ininnte and exact attention to the ùeauty and propriety 
of thc ôacred cerernonies of the Church, sprang froIH a deep, 
in ward principle of devotion and 10vc. to our Lord present in 
the Ble

ed Sacrarl1ent, to IIis Ble;::
ed 1\10ther, to the saints, 
and to thc Inysteries of the Ohristian Faith, sYlnbolized by the 
outward forlns of religion. In the perforlnancc of his sacer- 
dotal functions, he was a Inodel of t1ignity, grace, and piety. 
He loved his duties, and. 

as conlpletely absorbed in his 
priest1y office. The august Sacrifice and SaCralTIent of thc 
Altar was his life HIld joy; and there he derived those graces 
and virtues which produced their choice and precious fruits 
in his character and conduct. 
,1\..8 a preacher of the Divine W orù, he exceIIed equally. 
Ilis parochial FermOl1S were even superior to those which hc 
preached on the mission. lIe could prepare bin1self morc 
q nietl Y; the exertion 'was not so tasking to his pJ]ysical 
strength, and suited better the tone of his lnind, ,vhich made 
it n10re pleasing and easy for him to fulfil these ordinary 
pastoral ministrations than to address 
great crowds of people. 
on occasions requiring a more vehement style of oratory. 
His published scrlnons will enRble the reader to judge of his 
merit as a preacher, although their effect was greatly increased 
by the impression produced hy his personal appearance and 
attitude, :1nd the charm of his voicc and intonations. One 
striking feature of llis sermons was the abundance and feli- 
éity of his quotßtions froIl1 IIoly Scripture. Frequent reaù- 
ing and meditation of the inspired books had saturated his 
Inind ,vith their influence, and the apposite texts "Thich w'erc 
suitable for his theme appeared to flo"'
 from his lips y\'ithout 
an effort. ..t\.nother characteristic of his preaching ,vas, that 
it appealed ahnost exclusiycly to the reason, and through the 
reason to the ,vill and conscience. IIis continual aim ,vas 



192 


MEMOIR OF 


to inculcate conscientiousness, obedience to the law of Goo 
the fulfilment of the great duties of life, and a faithful 
correspondence to the divine grace. He never lost sight 
of this great end in his missionary or parochial sermons, but 
al
Yays' directed his aim to bring sinners to a renunciation of 
sin, and a fixed purpose of living ahvays in the grace of 
God, and to bring good Christians to a high standard of 
practical perfection and solid virtue. For deep speculations 
in theology and oratorical display, he had not the slightest 
inclinatioll. He never desired to preach on unusual occasions 
or topics, but, on the contrary, had an unconquerable repug- 
nance to' appear in the pulpit, except where the sole object 
,vas to preach the gospel with apostolic simplicity, for the 
single end of the edification of tbe people. lIe was not at 
all conscious of his own superiority as a preacher, and never 
gave his. sermons for publication without reluctance, or fron1 
any other Illotive than deference to the judgment of his 
superior and his brethren. lIe loved and sought the shade 
frOll1 a true and profound hmnility, .without the slightest 
desire for applause or r
putation. Ilis manner was earnest 
anll grave; at times, ,vhen the subject and occasion required it, 
even vehen1ent; hut equable and sustained throughout his 
. 
discourse, without rising to any sudden or po,verful outbursts 
of eloquence. On ordinary occasions it had a calIn and per- 
suasi ve force; enlivened with a certain pure and lofty poetic 
sentiment, which blended ,vith the prevailing argumentative 
strain of his thought, pleasing the imagination just enough 
to facilitate the access of the truth he was teaching to the 
reason and conscience, ,vithout ,veakening its po,ver, or dis- 
tracting the mind from the lnain point. lIe never produced 
those startling efiects UPOll his audience which are sometÎ1nes 
witnessed during a Inission, by an appeal to their feelings; 
but he in variably lllade a profound Ï1npression, .which Dlani. 
fested itself in the deep and fixed attention ,vith "Thich he 
held them chained and captivated from the first to the last 



REY. FRANCIS Ä. EAKER. 


193 


word he uttered. IIis eloquence was like the still, strong 
current of a deep and placid river, sometin1es s'wollen in vol- 
ume and force, and sometimes subsiding to a more tranquil 
and gentle flow; but never deviating from a straight course, 
and seldom rushing with the violence of a torrent. 
In his more intÏ1nate and personal relations ".ith his peni- 
tents, .with the sick and afilicted whom he visited, or ,vho 
came to hÍ1n for counsel, and with others who sought instruc- 
tion, advice, or sympathy from him as a priestly director, F. 
Baker was a faithful copy of the charity and suavity of hi;.; 
special patron-St. Francis de Sales. Pure and holy as he 
was himsel
 he ",vas compassionate and indulgent to the lllost 
frail and sinful souls; and, without ever relaxing the uncom- 
promising strictness of Christian principle, or mitigating his 
severo denunciations of sin, he "yas free from all rigorism 
toward the penitent ,vho sought to rise from his sins by his 
aid. This benignity and charity attracted to him a great 
number of persons who were in peculiar difficulties and 
troubles, some of whom had never had courage to go to any 
one else. He spared no pains and trouble to help them, and 
his patience was inexhaustible. With the sick and dying he 
took unusual pains, visiting them frequently, and often aiding 
them to receive the sacraments devoutly by reciting prayers 
,vith them from some appropriate book of devotion. lIe recon- 
ciled a number to the Church who had been drawn away from 
their religion, and was particularly successful in bringing to 
the fold of Christ thoso who were without. The tokens of 
affection, gratitude, and sorrow which ,vere give
 by great 
numbers at his death, ,vere proofs how much he had endeared 
himself to all with whom he came in contact, and how irrep- 
arable they felt his loss to be. 
Of F. Baker's religious character it ,vol.ùd be difficult to 
say much, in addition to the portraiture of him which has 
been given in the foregoing sketch of his life. It presented 
no salient or striking points to be seized on and particularly 
9 



- 


194 


MEMOIR OF 


described. Its great beauty consisted in its quiet., equable 
constancy and harmony. He had that evenly balanced 
temperament ascribed to 81. Charles Borromeo by his biogra- 
phers, and regarded as the most f
ìvorable to virtue. He had 
no favorite books of devotion, no special practices of piety or 
austerity, no inclination for the study of the higher m
rstic 
theology, no unusual difficulties or temptations, no deep 
mental struggles, no scruples, no marked periods of spiritual 
crisis and change after his conversion to the Catholic Church- 
"nothing extraordinary, except an extraordinary fidelity and 
constancy in ordinary duties and exercises, and extraordinary 
conscientiousness and purity of life. He was detached from 
the world, and from every selfish passion; reserved to a re- 
markable degree, ,vithout the faintest tinge of lnelancholy or 
moroseness; collected within himself and in God at all time
 ; 
serene and tranqlúl of spirit; simple, abstemious, and exact in 
his habits; ,vith his ,vhole heart in his convent, his celI, his 
duties, and his religious exercises. 
The char
cter of F. Baker was very much developed dur- 
ing the later years of his life. That passive, quiescent disposi- 
tion which characterized him in his earlier career, gave place 
to greater decision and energy. lIe acquired by action a more 
self-poised and determined judgment, greater self-reliance, 
and a more marked individuality. ITe ,vas no longer swayed 
and led by the opinions of others, except so far as duty re- 
quired hÜn to obey, or his own reason was convinced. The 
almost feminine delicacy and refinement "Thich he had in 
youth was hardened into a robust and manly vigor, as it is 
,vith a softly-nurtured young soldier after a long campaign. 
lIe exhibited also a gayety of temper, fi liveliness in con- 
versation, and often a rich and exuberant hUlllor and play- 
fulness, especially in depicting the variety of strange and 
amusing characters and scenes with which he caIne in con- 
tact by mixing ,vith all classes of luen, ,vhich had remained 
completely latent in his earlier character, before it .wag 



REY. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


195 


warmed and expanded by the genial influence of HIe Catho- 
lic religion. No one could have been a more delightful 
cOlnpanion on the mission, during the intervals of rest and 
relaxation, than he was; and he entereù into the cl1joJ'mellt 
of the occasional recreations thrown in his ,,'ay in traveling 
'with the zest of a schoolboy on a holida
r. For companJ he 
had no taste, and he could not be induced to undertake any 
jaunt or excursion for mere pleasure. During the summer 
months he would never go into the country, even for the 
sake of recruiting his health, but remained during the hot- 
test months at home, where he found the truest happiness, 
pursuing the even tenor of his ordinary occupations. A 
beautiful chara
ter! 1\. rare specimen of the most perfect hu- 
man nature, elevated and sanctified Ly divine grace, and 
clothed with a bodily.form which was tbe exact expression of 
the inhabiting sonl! To describe it is ÍInpossible. Those 
who knew it by personal acquaintance will say, ,vithout 
exception, that the attempt I have made is con1plctely in- 
adequate, and, like an unsuccessful portrait, reproduces but n. 
dim and indistinct image of the original. I do not mean to 
say that F. Baker was a perfectly faultless character, or that 
he was without sin. Of those faults, ho\ve\Ter, ,yhich are 
apparent to human eyes in the exterior conduct, he had but 
few, and those slight and venial. 
Nothing now remains but to describe the closing scene of F. 
Baker's life. I have already mentioned that his constitution 
had shown sJmptoms of giving way under the fatigues of his 
missionary labors. Nevertheless, he still continued in the 
constant and active discharge of his priestly duties, and no 
solicitude in regard to his health was felt by any of his 
brethren, with 'Whom these periods of physical infirmity wore 
an ordinary occurrence. On one Sunday, n. fe\v weeks before 
his death, his strength failed him ,vhile he was singing 11igh 
Mass, and he ,-vas obliged to continue it in a Io\v voice. lie 
was also unable to continue the abstinence of Lent, and was 



196 


MEMOIR OF 


obliged to ask for a dispensation, which I believe never oc- 
c-qrred with him before. His appearance was pale and languid, 
and the fulfilment of his duties evidently cost hÍ1n an effort. 
We had been accustomed to sing together two of the three 
parts of the Passion on Palm Sunday, ever since the church 
had been opened; hut, in making arrangements for the services 
of the IToly Week for this year, he remarked that we woul(l 
be obliged to OIllit'singing the Passion as usual. He had 
marked hhnself, however, on the schedule of offices which 
was posted up in the library, to preach both on Passion Sun- 
day and Palm Sunday. His last Sunday sermon was preacher] 
on the Second Sunday of Lent, March 12. The subject ,vas 
"Heaven." The Wednesday evening follo,ving, he volun- 
teered to preach in the place of one of his brethren 'v ho was 
unwell, about an hour before the service cOlnmenced, and 
left the supper-table to prepare himself. lIe took for the 
emergency the sermon which he had first preached as a mis- 
sionary, on "The Necessity of Salvation ;" and this ,vas the 
last regular discourse ,,
hich he delivered. On the follo,ying 
Sunday, after Vespers, he gave a short conference to the Rosary 
Society; and after this his voice was never heard again in eÀ- 
hortation or instruction. About this time, there were several 
cases of typhus fever in the parish, and F. Baker had in some 
way imbibed the poison, to which his delicate state of health 
rendered him peculiarly susceptible. On the Fourth Sunday 
of Lent, 
larch 26, the first symptolns of illness showed 
themselves. On the preceding evening he heard confessions 
as usual, until about nine o'clock, after which he came to the 
room of one of the fathers and made his own confession, as 
he did habitually every week. The next morning he said 
"Thlass for the last time, at half-past eight, for the children of 
the Slulday-school. .As I passed his door at half-past ton, to 
go down to lligh J\Iass, he Inet me in the corridor, and re- 
marked that he felt too sick to go down to the sanctuary. 
From this time he came no more again to the table or the rcc- 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


197 


rcation of the community, but kept his rOOln. Nothing was 
thought of his indisposition, and it ,,",as by accident thnt his 
physician, who dined that day with the con1nlunity, 8:1"W' hÌ1n 
and prescribed for him in the afternoon. The next day three 
of the fathers left the house for a mis
ion, and Lade hin1 
good-by as usual, without a thought of anxiety on either 
side. F. TIaker remained on Sunday and Monday in 
the same state, dressing hhnself every ll1orning, and sit- 
ting up at intervals, but usually lying on the bed, and 
occupying himself about some matters of business. IIe wrote 
several notes, and dictated others, some concerning the articles 
he had òrdered for the sanctuary, and others concerning 
some sick persons or penitents for whom he had a special 
care. During this time, no symptoms of typhus had ap- 
peared, but his complaint appeared to be a slight attack of 
pneumonia. On Monday evening he ,vent do'wn by hiulself 
to the bath-room and took a hot bath, after 'which he kept 
his bed entirely. The superior of the house, who was engaged 
in the mission on Staten Island, came every day to visit hinl, 
and had already detected an incipient tendency to delirium, 
which awakened in his ll1ind an anxiety, which, ho,vever, ,vas 
not shared by anyone else. On Wednesday, however, al- 
though he retained control over his faculties, his brain began 
evidently to sho,v a state of morbid excitability. He re- 
marked that the beUs of the house had a strange sound, and 
fancied that bis breathing and pulsations ,vere all set to a 
regular rhythlnical measure, and gave out musical sounds. 
When he was alone and his eyes shut, he said that a brilliant 
array of figures continually passed before hirD, and tliat he 
seemed to be hurried a,vay by a rapid motion like that of a 
rail,,
ay carriage. During that evening he was more deci- 
dedly wandering in his lnind, although he became quiet, and 
slept nearly all night. On Thursday morning the poison of 
typhus had filled his brain con1pletely, and he lay in a dun, 
stupid state, unconscious of wbat ,vas said to him, and incn.- 



198 


:MEMOIR OF 


pable of uttering a rational w'ord. This gave place after 3. 
time to a more violent forln of delirium, during which he 
talked incessantly in an incoherent Inanner, and could with 
difficulty be kept in a quiet position or induced to s,vallo\v 
any nourishment or lnedicine. On Friday lnorning the dan- 
ger of a fatal termination was evident, as the disease con- 
tinued to progress, and the symptolns of pneumonia ,vere also 
aggravated. The superior of the house was sent for, and 
came over in the afternoon. Dr. Van Buren and Dr. Clarke, 
t\VO of the 1110st elninent physicians in to,vn, \yere called in 
for consultation by Dr. IIewit, the attending physician, and 
information of F. Baker's illness \vas sent to his sister, ,vho 
came inlmediately from Baltimore to see hinl. On Saturday 
evening the typhus fever had spent its violence, reason re- 
turned, and fi'om this tÏIne F. Baker renlained in a \veak but 
tranquil state until his departure. He had been removed 
from his o\vn rOOln to the library, a large and airy apart- 
ment, where every thing about him \vas arranged in a neat, 
orderly, and cheerful manner, and he was attendeù and care- 
fully watched night and day by his p4ysician, his brethren, 
and his nurse. The violence of his fever had prostrated his 
strength so completely, that he was unable to resist the severe 
attack of pneumonia \vhich accompanied it, and \vhich medi- 
cal skill and care were unable to subdue. The feeble vital 
force which still remained gradually subsided during the 
next three days, under the progress of this disease, although 
his friends continued to hope against all appearances for his 
recovery, and seemed almost to take it for granted that God 
would surely hear their prayers and spare his life. During 
all this time he was rational and collected, recognising all 
his friends, but unable to speak more than a fe\v brief sen- 
tences that were connected and intelligible. TIe desired his 
sister to remain with him, and she did so during a great por- 
tion of the tinle. He expressed his perfect willingness and 
readiness to die, and made an effort to rer>eat audibly 



REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


199 


some prayers, but 'without success. He Inanifcsted his 
desire for absolution by signs, and it ,vas givcn to 
hiIn, together \vith the Sacrament of Extrelne Unction, 
on Sunday. On Tuesday, the IIoly Viaticunl, for which . 
he had asked, ,vas given hinl, at about half-past ton in 
the morning. He received it ,vith perfect consciousness, 
and renlained quiet, free fronl pain, and "without hecolning 
perceptibly ,vorse, until onc. After the fathers had gone 
down to dinner, he asked his nurse for his cap, ,vhich ,,"'as 
brought to hÏ1n and placed in his hand. Ho t.hen asked for 
his habit, and said he would dress and go do,vn to dinner 
with tbe comnlunity. Soon after, a change was observed in 
him by the ,vatchful eye of the father 'who had been his 
bosoln friend during their COlnnlon lnissionary career, and 
'who had påssed so lnany hours of the day and night by hi::; 
bedside during his sickness ,vith more than the devotion of a 
brother; and several of' his particular friends were sent for, 
that they might see him once In01'e before he died. The t"o 
fathers ,vho ,vere at home, his physician, his only and be- 
loved sister, a lady ,vho had been his chief aid in the care of 
the sanctuary, and another, who was one of his converts, 
surrounded his bedside, ,vhere he lay, the picture of placid 
repose and holy calIn, quietly, gently, and imperceptibly 
breathing his last, until four o'clock, when his spirit passed 
away to God, without a struggle or a sign of agony, leaving 
his countenance unrufiled, and his form as composed as a 
statue. Those who saw him after death bave said that, 
about an hour after his- departure, his appearance ,vas most 
beautiful, as he lay just dressed in his sacerdotal vestments, 
his Inajestic and finely chiselled bro,v and .features as yet 
untouched by the fingc..[ of decay. The vestments in ,vhich F. 
Baker was dres3ed bad been prepared by himself only three 
weeks before, that they might be ready in case of the death 
of one of the community. His body ,vas placed in a metallic 
case, enclosed in a rosewood coffin, and laid in state in the 



200 


:MEMOIR OF 


church. These arrangements ,vere not completed until late 
in the night, and the people did not therefore begin to visit 
the sacred remains until the next morning; from which time 
until the sepulture, crowds of the faithful ,vcre coming to the 
church during every hour, both of the day and the night. 
Requiem Masses were said by all the priests in the house on 
"\Vednesday and Thursday. The Inission at Staten Island 
closed on Tuesday evening. The fathers ,vho ,vere there 
were not made acquainted ,vith the extreme danger of F. 
Baker, and the intelligence of his death was not sent to them 
until 1Vednesday morning, when their labors 'v ere all com- 
pleted. They returned home to find the body of their late 
companion lying in the church, and the household and parish 
overwhelmed with sorrow. Usually, in a religious commu- 
nity, the death of a member is taken very much as the loss of 
a soldier is regarded by bis comrades, schooled as they are to 
control their feelings, and to be ready at any mornent to ex- 
pose their lives in the discharge of their duty. But in a 
small band like ours, Vilhich had been through so many trials 
and vicissitudes in company, and where all the members had 
been continuaHy in the most constant and intimate associa- 
tion ,vith each other, it ,yas impossible not to feel in the 
deepest and keenest manner the loss of one of our number, 
the first one called away during the fourteen years of a mis- 
sionary life. To an infant congregation like ours, the loss of 
a priest" like F. Baker was truly irreparable. Besides this, 
each one felt that his loss as a friend and brother was a per. 
sonal grief equal to that of losing his nearest and dearest 
relati ve by the tie of blood. This sorro,v ,vas shared by the 
\vhole parish, by all his friends, and by the faithful every,vhere 
in the parishes where he had preached and labored. ]'Iany 
letters of sYlnpathy and condolence were sent from all 
quarters, and not Catholics only, but numbers of others also, 
who had respected the virtues of the holy Catholic priest, 
testified their regret at his death, and their sympathy with 



REV. FR.A...
CIS A. BAKER. 


201 


our loss. The Rev. Dr. Osgood, a distinguished Unitarian 
clergyman of New York, sent a sl11a11 painting representing a 
bouquet of various kinds of lilies, as a l11el11orial of respect, 
in the name of his congregation, accompanied by a very kind 
note. Several other 1)1'ote8tant clergynlen ,vere present at 
the funeral services; and, indeed, the l11anifestatiol1s of res}!ect 
for F. Eaker's men10ry were universal. 
The funeral obsequies were of necessity accelerated more 
than hiB friends would have desired, so that few from distant 
places were able to attend them. A few intimate frienùs 
from Baltimore, and some clergymen from places out of town, 
were, however, present; a large number of the clcrgy of Now 
York and its vicinity; and as great a number of the faithful as 
the church could contain. The funeral was on Thursday in 
Passion Week, April 6, two days after the decease. The pre- 
vious Thursday waB F. Baker's birthday, and the anniversary 
of his conversion to the Catholic Church also occurred ,vithin 
the week of his death and burial. ne bad just completed the 
forty-fifth year of his age, and was in the ninth year of his priest- 
hood. The following Sunday was the twelfth anniversary of his 
formal reconciliation to the Church, in the chapel of the Sisters' 
of Charity, in Baltimore. Early on Thursday morning, four 
private 
fasses of Requiem were said for the repose of his soul 
in the church. At the usual hour for rugh Mass on Silnda ys, 
a solemn 
Iass of Requiem 'Was celebrated by the superior of 
the house, in presence of the Archbishop, who performed the 
closing rite of absolution, and a short funeral discourse was 
preached. The coffin was ornamented with the sacerdotal 
vestments, the chalice, and the missionary crucifix of the 
deceased, and covered with wreaths of flo,vers. The altar 
was deeply draped in mourning, and F. Baker's confessional 
,vas also similarly draped. N ever did these exterior symbols 
indicate a more sincere and universal sorrow on the part of 
all who participated in them. It was a very difficult task to 
summon up sufficient fortitude to perform these last sad rites. 
9* 



202 


MEMOIR OF 


The voice of the celebrant was interrupted by his tears; the 
sub-deacon faltered as he sang the elevating and comforting 
,,"ords of the Epistle; the choir-boys showed in their candid 
and ingenuous faces their sorrow for the one ,vho had trained 
them up in the sanctuary; the choir, composed, not of profes- 
sional singers, but of members of the congregation, undertook 
their solemn task with trembling; every countenance was sad 
and every eye moistened, in the assemblage of the clergy who 
sat in white-robed ranks nearest the sanctuary, and of the 
laity who filled the church. I had the last duty of friendship 
to perform, in preaching the funeral sermon; and the wish to 
do full justice to F. Baker, and to satisfy the eager de
ire of 
all present to hear something of his life, enabled me to fulfil 
this duty with composure, and restrain the tide of emotion 
which I saw swelling all around me, quieted only by the hal- 
lowing and tranquillizing influence of the sacred rites of the 
Church, and the high, celestial hope inspired by the contem- 
plation of a life so noble and a death so holy. The music 
,vas in the sweet, plaintive, solemn style of the true ecclesi- 
astical chant; all the means of celebrating the holy rites of 
the obsequies had been prepared by F. Baker's own pious and 
careful hand; his own spirit seemed to hover over the spot, 
and a divine consolation stole gently over all. Sad as it is, 
there is nothing so beautiful, so soothing, so elevating to tho 
soul, as the funeral of a holy priest, who has achieved his 
course and attained the crown of his labors. 1rIanyof those 
,vho were present remained for a long time after the ser- 
vice was completed, and some were still found there unwilling 
to leave the spot, at nightfall. The remains were taken from 
the church to St. Patrick's Cathedral, escorted by a band of 
young men, and followed by a train of carriages, and by others 
on foot, although it rained heavily; the Vicar-General recited 
the concluding prayers of the ritual; the coffin was placed in 
the episcopal vault next to that of the lat!3 archbishop; a 
few wreaths of flowers were placed upon it, the entrance was 
, 



." 


REV. FRANCIS. A. BAKER. 


203 \ 


closed, and all withdrew; leaving the earthly forn1 of the . 
departed to the silent repose of the tomb. 
For some days after, a portion of the lllourning drapery 
was left on the altar, and requiems continued to be offered 
by all the priests of the communitr. Many Masses ,vere 
also said by other priests in various parts of the coun try, 
and prayers offered by the people, although the common 
sentiment of all was, that the one for whom they were offered 
was already among the blessed in heaven. On Saturday 
evening, as we all went to our confessionals, and a large con- 
gregation of people was assembled in the church, preparing 
for their Easter duty, a peculiarly holy calm seemed to per- 
vade the spot. The people were hushed and still, unusually 
intent upon their devotions. The penitents of F. Baker 
looked with sadness upon the place where, just two weel
8 be- 
fore, he had sat for the last time in the tribunal of penance, 
and came weeping to some one of the other fathers to request 
him to take the direction of their consciences. It was a sad 
Holy Week; and a difficult task to us, wearied with labor, and 
some with watching, oppressed with a grief which time and 
repose had not yet diminished, to fulfil the arduous duties 
of the season. Our greatest consolation was in the sympathy 
manifested by our people, and in the proof they gave of the 
love and gratitude which onr labors had awakened in their 
hearts. Easter Sunday came; the altar was superbly decorated 
with the choicest flowers of the s
ason, the triumphant chant 
of the Church resounded as usual; but all felt that the one 
whose presence in the sanctuary and whose eloquent voice 
had given the day one of its greatest charms, was gone for- 
ever; and besides, the gloom of the great crime committed 
on Good Friday had overspread the whole nation, and the 
drapery of universal mourning had turned the city into one 
great necropolis. The admirable pastoral letter of the arch- 
bishop on the assassination of the President was read in all 
the churches, giving eloquent expression to the. indignation 



1r 


204 


MEMOIR OF 


and grief which oppressed all Christian and all honest 
and just hearts; and never was there seen an Easter more sad 
and mournful, more like a day of unusual humiliation and 
sorrow, than that Easter Sunday; which had been anticipated 
as a day of peculiar joy and thanksgiving for the cessation 
of bloody war and the restoration of peace. 
It is in just such times as these, however, that we appre- 
ciate most fully the strength and support which is given us 
by our holy faith, the Divine Sacrament of the Altar, and the 
grace of God, and thåt those ,vho have given themselves to 
a religious life learn the inestimable blessing of their vocation, 
which raises them above all private and all public tribulation. 
A few days brought back serenity and cheerfulness to our 
little community, and we took new courage from the blessed 
death of our companion, closing so beautifully his holy life, 
to resume quietly and resolutely our ordinary duties, and to 
rely more completely on the providence of God; trusting that 
we had gained an advocate in heaven, and hoping to perse- 
vere like him to the end. His course was short, and his re- 
,vard speedily gained. What a ha.ppiness for him that he 
listened to the voice of God; and, as his day was declining to 
its close, though he knew it not, gathered up his strength and 
courage to leave all and run that. brief and swift race, which 
in later years gained for him the brilliant and unfading 
crown of a true and faithful priest of Jesus Christ, who had 
brought thousands of souls into the way of justice; and had 
practised himself that Christian perfection which he preached 
to others! 
There must be many young men equally gifted, and fitted 
to accomplish an equally apostolic work, to whom God has 
given the same vocation. What hidden consequences were 
involved in the result of that struggle and deliberation ,vhich 
was the crisis of grace in the life of Francis Baker! What 
a loss to himself and to the Church of God, if he had proved 
cowardly and unfaithful! The simple question before his 



\ 


REV. FRANCIS A. BAKER. 


205 


mind was one of personal obedience to the commandment 
of Christ to arise and follow nitn. But because of his obe- 
dience, God chose him to be the instrlunent of an anlount of 
good to others ,vhich ,vould be sufficient to cnrich ,vith lllcrit 
a priesthood of fifty years. The in1mediate fruits of his o'wn 
labors in preaching the word of God and administering IIis 
sacraments can never perish. The fruits of his example and his 
teaching 'will, I trust, continue to multiply and increase after 
his death in rich abundance. If the blessing of God perpetu- 
ates and extends the congregation which he aided in forming, 
and which, so far as we can see, could not have been estab- 
lished without him, his character and spirit ,vill be perpetuated 
in those who will for all time venerate him as a Epiritual father, 
and imitate him as one of their most perfect models. If he is to 
have no imitators and no successors, it will be because God can 
find none among our choice and gifted youth, who have enough 
of sincerity, generosity, and the spirit of 
elf-Eacrifice, to obey 
the inspirations of His Divine Spirit, and consecrate themselves 
to His glory and the good of their felIo,v-men. The need is 
pressing, the career is glorious and inviting, and the vocation 
of God will not be ,vanting. There ig no hope for religion, 
except in the multiplication of priests animated with the 
apostolic spirit. If tbe example of Francis Baker enkindles 
the spirit of emulation in some generous youthful hearts; and 
encourages some timid, fearful souls who are vacillating 
between the Church of God and the interests of this world, 
to imitate his fidelity to the voice of conscience; the end I 
have had in view will be accomplished. If not, it ,viII stand 
as a perpetual reproach to a frivolous and unworthy gen- 
eration, incapable of appreciating and imitating high Chris- 
tian virtue. And now I lay the last stone on this monument 
of one who was once the friend and bosom companion of my 
youth; afterwards my spiritual child; then my brother in the 
priesthood; and who is now exalted to such a height above 
me that my eye and my mind can no longer follow him. 



" 



SERMONS 




SER1fONS. 


SER
ION I. 


THE KECESSITY OF SALVATION. 


(MISSION SERMON.) 


U Thou art careful, and art troubled about many things. But one thing is 
nccessary."-ST. LUKE X. 41, 42. 


IF, Iny brethren, I should ask each one in this assembly 
what his business i
, I should probably receive a great \ariety 
of answers. In so large a congregation as this, drawn as it 
is from the heart of a rich and important city, there are un- 
doubtedly representatives of all the various. avocations that 
grow out of the requirements of social life ; some merchants, 
some Inechanics, some laboring men. I should find some 
heirs of case and opulence side by side with homeless beg- 
gars. Some of you are heads of families, while others are 
living under guardianship and subjection; and in answer to 
my proposed question, you would give me your various em- 
ployments and states of life. You would tell me that your 
business is to heal the sick, or to assist at the administration 
of justice, or to teach, or to learn letters, or to labor. The 
men would tell me that their occupation is at the office, or 
the warehouse, or the shop, and the women would tell me 
that theirs is at home by the family fireside. No! my breth- 
ren, it is not so. This is not your business. Your words may 
be true in the sense in which you use them, but there is a 
great and real sense in which they are not true. Trade, 



210 


THE NECESSITY OF SALVATION. 


labor, study-these are not Jour elnployments. Your avoca- 
tions are not so varied as you think they are. Each one of 
you has the same business. Alllnen ,yho bave lived in the 
world have had but one and the saIne 1usiness. And what 

s that 
 The salvation of their souls. Jlowever varied your 
dispositions, your condition in this world, your duties, tbe 
end of life is absolutely one and the sanle to you all. Yes! 
wherever man is, whatever his position, ,v-hatever his age, he 
has one business on the earth, and only one-to save his soul. 
All other things may be dispensed with, but this cannot be 
dispensed with. This is his true, his necessary, his only duty. 
Do not think that I am exaggerating things in making this 
assertion. Our Divine Saviour Himself in the words of the 
text has taught us the same lesson-"1JIartAa, JJIartlta, tholn 
al.t careful, and art troubled about many tltings. B1tt one 
thing is necessary." And what that one thing is, He has 
taught us, in those memorable ,vords which lIe uttered on 
another occasion-" What shall it profit a man, if Ile gain 
tlte whole world, and lose Ids own soul,. or what shall a man 
give in exchange for Ids soul?" * But what then, you say; 
must every one go into a cloister, must everyone who wishes 
to do his duty forsake the world, leave house and parents, 
lands and possessions, and nourish his soul by continual medi- 
tation and prayer 
 No! this is not our Lord's meaning. 
The end of life is indeed the salvation of our souls, but we 
must work this out by means of the daily employments ap- 
propriate to our several conditions. We must prepare for 
the life to come by the labors of the life that now is. We 
must bear our part in this world, but we must do so, always, 
in subordination to eternity, and thus we shall in some way 
fulfil the words of the apostle-"Tlwy that use tltis world, 
let tlwm be as though tlwy lused it not j" t that is, let them not 
use it in the same way that the children of the world use it, 


:Ie St. Mark viü. 36, 3
. 


t 1 Cor. vii. 31. 



THE NECESSITY OF SAL V.\TION. 


211 


or according to the principles of the world. This is enough 
for the salvation of most men. Noone can be excused from 
doing so llluch as this. The law of God imperatively and 
under the highest sanctions requires this of everyone here 
present. This is your duty to your souls. This is your only 
duty. This done, all will be done. This neglected, all else 
,vill be in vain. To prove this will be the theme of Iny pres... 
ent discourse. 
I will make a remark in the outset: It is inlportant for us 
to bear in mind that the salvation of our souls is properly our 
\vork. The grace of God is indeed necessary in order to 
will, and to accomplish His good will, but without our co- 
operation, the grace of God will not save us; accordingly, 
St. Paul, writing to the Philippians, exhorts thenl to wOl.1c 
out their 8alvation.
f It is only little children, 'who die soon 
after baptism, and persons equivalent to children, who are . 
saved by a sovereign and absolute act of divine power; with 
regard to all others, God has made their eternal destiny de- 
pendent on their own actions. No one of us will be saved 
merely because Christ died for us; or because lIe founded the 
Catholic Church as the church of salvation, and made us its 
members; or because He has instituted life-giving sacra- 
ments; or because God is willing that all should be saved; 
or because He gives His grace to us aU; or because the 
Blessed Virgin Mary has such power with God; or because 
the priest can forgive sins. No one will be saved because he 
has had inspirations of grace, good instruction, 'good desires, 
and good purposes. Despite all this, one may be damned. 
For the Holy Spirit has said distinctly and strongly, 
" Work out your own salvation." It rests, then, ,vith you to 
save your souls. The grace of God is indeed necessary. 
You cannot be saved without the death of Ohrist, or the 
sacraments of the Catholic Church, or the. gifts of the HoJy 


* Philip. it 12. 



212 


THE NECESSITY OF SALVATION. 


Spirit, or the absolution of the priest, or the patronage of 
J\Iary; but all ..these things are ,vithin Jour reach, they are 
all in your power. No,v, at the time of the IIoly 
IÏgsion, 
they are offered to you with especial liberality. God, on 
His part, has done, one may almost say, all that He could do 
to make your work easy to you. To make this an accept- 
able time, it only remains, then, that you do your part. And 
this you can do. IIowever great your difficulties, however 
great your temptations, however strong your passions, ho,v- 
ever importunate your evil companions, may be; how'ever 
deeply seated your bad habits; you can, each one can, by 
the help which God is now willing to render him, saye his 
soul. 
From this first remark I pass to the immediate subject 
of my discourse-the obligation of securing our salvation. 
As we can save our souls, so we ought to do it. Nay, 
this is our only, our aU-engrossing duty; and I shall 
fonnd my proof of it, my brethren, on this plain rule of 
common sense and reason, that one ought to bestow that 
degree of attention and care on any affair whi
h it deserves 
and requires. Everyone feels that it would be an occupa- 
tion unworthy of a man to spend his time in writing letters 
in the sand, or in chasing butterflies from flower to flower; 
because tbese occupåtions are in themsel,:es vain and pro- 
fitless. Again, anyone would feel it unreasonable, in the 
father of a family, to set out on a party of pleasure at 
the very moment that his presence was necessary to arrest 
some disaster that threatened his family: not because it 
was wrong in itself for him to seek recreation, but because 
a higher obligation was then urging. 
ow, applying these 
principles, on which everyone acts in matters of daily life, 
to the matter in question; I say tha
 you are bound to give 
to the work of your salvation your utmost care and attention, 
because the care of your souls supremely deserves and 
urgently requires it. Take in, my brethren, the whole 



THE KECESSITY OF SALVATION. 


213 


scopp of my proposition. There is a "york of great con- 
sequence before JOU. I do not speak as the ,vorld speaks. 
The world tells you that Jour business here is to get gain, to 
build a house, to rear a family, to leave a name, to enjoy 
yourself.. I say, no. Your businc
s is to seek the grace 
of God, and to keep it. The ,,"orld says: seek friends, 
fall in 'witb the strealn, court popularity, du as others do, 
act on the princip1es which receive the sanction of the 
nlultitude, and a little religion in addition to this will be 
no bad thing. I say, no. Seek first the kingdom of God 
and Ilis justice. Fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, 
masters, servants, Je great ones and ye hlun1le ones of 
the earth, JOu are all engaged in the same enterprise. 
God has intrusted to each one of JOu a soul. lIe has 
intrusted it to you, not to another. Yon cannot devolve 
the responsibility of it on another. That is your care on 
the earth. Whatever cares of other things you may have, 
you cannot neglect that one work, you cannot interrupt 
or postpone it, you cannot put any thing in cOlnpetition 
with it. If there is a question betw"een any temporal 
ad vantages, however great, or suffering, 110,vever severe, on 
one side, and the salvation of your soul on the other; 
you must renounce these benefits, clnbrace those tortures. 
If JOU must consent to see your family die by inches of 
starvati on, or put your salvation in proxilnate and certain 
jeopardy, you must see them starve first. I do not say 
tbe case is likely to happen. God rarely al10ws Dlen to be 
reduced to such straits. But if the case should occur in the 
line of duty, nay, if the alternative was presented, of 
converting the whole world on one side, and avoiding a 
mortal sin on the other, ","e must rather consult the welfare 
of our own souls than that of otbers; and this not from 
selfishness, but because God has intrusted to us our o\vn 
souls, and not the souls of others. And ho,v do I establish 



214 


THE NECESSITY OF SALYATION. 


Iny proposition 
 I waive, my brethren, my right to appeal 
to your faith, to speak by the authority of Christ, "\Vho is 
infallible and snprelne, and Who has a right to challenge 
your absolute and instantaneous submission and obedience. 
I postpone the consideration of that love which we owe to 
our 
Iaker, and which ought to make us prompt and willing 
to do I-lis will. I take IUY stand on the ground of reason and 
conscience, and I.appeal to you to say whether they do not 
sustain my proposition. I make you the judges. . It is your 
own case, it is true, yet there are points in which even se1f- 
love cannot blind our sense of faith; and I ask yon whether 
the care of our soul's salvation should not be our sovereign 
and supreme care in life, if it be true that the interests of the 
soul surpass all others in importance, and can not be secured 
without our continual and earnest e:ftòrts. Your prompt and 
decided answer in the affirmative leaves me nothing more to 
d
 than to establish the fact that the salvation of yonr souls 
is in fact so important a task. I will do so by proving 
three points: first, that our souls are our most precious 
possession; second, that we are in great danger of losing 
them; and third, that the loss of our souls is the greatest of 
all losses, and is irrepal
able. 
Our souls are our most precious possession. 
Iy brethren, 
we have souls. When God created man He formed his body 
out of the slhne of the earth. It was as yet but a lifeless forIn, 
a beautiful statue, but God breathed upon it and Iuan became 
a living soul. This sou], the spiritual substance .which God 
breathed into the body, was formed according to an eternal 
decree of the Blessed Trinity, in reselnblance to the Divine 
essence; that is, endowed with a spiritual nature and possessed 
of understanding and free will. "Let us make lnan to our 
image and likeness," said God; and the sacred wTiter tells 
us "God created man to IIis own image;" and, as if to give 
greater emphasis to so important an announcement, he repeats, 



THE .NECESSITY OF SALV.ATIO
. 


215 


" To the image of God created TIe him." .:
. }\Ian therefore 
is a compound being, consisting of a body and soul, allicd to 
the material world through the Inaterial body which he pos- 
sesses, and to the world above us, that is, to God and the 
angels, through his soul. Now, the c"Xccllence of all creatures 
is in proportion to the degree in which they partake of the 
perfections of God, who is the Author of aU being !lnd an 
goodness. All existing substances partake of IIis perfection 
in S01ne degree; if t11ey do not show forth IIis llloral attri- 
butes, at least they reflect His olnnipotence; and therefore 
I10ly Scripture calls on the fishes of the sea, the beasts of the 
earth, the fo,vls of the air, the sun, moon, stars, earth, moun- 
tains and hills, to join with angel8 and men in blessing God. 
But the superiority of angels and souls over material crea- 
tures consists in this, that they partake of the nloral perfec- 
tions of God: they show us not only "hat God can do, but 
what He is. Like IIin1, they are spiritual beings. "1Fho 
'lnakest. Thy angels spirits and Tlty 'Jninis{cFs a òU'l1ning fire," 
says the Psalmist. t They arc not gross substances as our 
bodies are, but pure, subtle, imluaterial essences. They are 
immortal like IIim-at least so as that they can never di
. 
They do not need food nor sleep. They are not subject to 
decay, or old age, or death; they are endowed ".ith understand- 
ing and free will, to know many of the things that God kno,vs 
and to love what He loves; but, above all, to know llim and 
love llÜn. Hence the value of tbe soul is really immeasur- 
able, and all the treasures of the earth are not to be cOlupared 
to it. Take the poorest slave on earth, the lnost wretcheù 
inmate of the darkest prison, the most afiiicted sufferer whoul 
disease has reduced to a mass of filth and corruption, and 
that man's SOlÙ is more precious and more glorious than the 
richest diadem of the greatest monarch; nay, than all the 
treasures of the whole earth, with all the jewels that are hid 


* Gen. i. 26. 


t Pa. eiii. 4. 



216 


THE NECESSITY OF SALVATION. 


in the mines and caves under its slu{ace. Our Lord one day 
permitted St. Catherine of Sienna to see a human soul, and 
as she gazed transported at its exceeding beauty, lIe asked 
her if lie had not had good reason to come down from heaven 
to save such a glorious creature. The saint said the soul 
was so beautiful that, if one could see it, one would be willing 
to suffer all possible pains and torments for love of it. 
Iy 
brethren, if, when you go to your homes, you sholùd find in 
your house an angel with his face as the appearance of light- 
ning, his eyes as a burning lamp, his body as a crystal, and 
his feet in appearance like to glittering brass, ,vhat would 
you do 
 W ouId you not, like St. John, fall down before his 
feet and adore him 
 'V ould you not faint and fall before 
him, or if you were so strengthened that you could look 
upon the glorious vision, would you not gaze upon it ,vith 
deep and loving awe? Well! such a being you will find 
there, when you go home. It will go hence with you. It 
will remain there as long as you remain there. It will con1e 
away when you come away. This bright being of whom I 
speak is no visitor in your house, it is an inmate, it rises 
with you in the morning, accompanies you through the day, 
is present with you when you eat, is with you in sickness 
and in health, in life and in death. This bright and glorious 
being is yours-it is more yours than any thing else in the 
world, it is the only thing in the world that is really yours- 
it is yours; poverty cannot strip you of it, death .cannot tear 
it from JOu; eternity cannot rob you of it. And this being 
is your soul, your precious, spiritual, imn10rtal soul. All 
things else will forsake you, property, falnily, friends; but 
this will never forsake you. It is yours. It is yours inalien- 
ably and for ever. Your greatest, your only wealth and 
treasure. Oh, inestimable dignity! "\Ve are told of some 
saints, who used to make an act of respect to everyone they 
met, by way of saluting his guardian angel, and of others 
that they bowed down before those whom they knew., by the 



THE r-;ECESSITY OF SALVATION. 


217 


spirit of prophecy, ,,
ould shed their blood for the faith. But 
bave ,ye not cause enough to honor man, in the fact that he 
has a sou], an imu10rtal soul, a soul ".hich shall one day see 
God 
 Shall 'we not feel an ample J;espect for each other, 
my brethren, 'when we think of what "e are 
 'Vho could 
ever speak an ilnpure ,vorù before another if he thought of 
the dignity of a human soul 
 "What young man ",vould ever 
dare to go to scenes where he wou1d blush that his mother 
or sister should be present, if he reIuelubered that he tool{ 
his own soul along with him 
 Who "yould lie, or cheat, 
or steal, if he thought of his soul? ....\. great and overpower- 
ing thought; how does it belittle aU the pride and ostentation 
of the external ""yorld! Come, my brethren, let us go into 
the streets of this city and look around us. There are stately 
buildings and proud equipages and gay and bril1iant shops- 
but what are all tbese to the concourse of human beings, the 
crowds of immortal souls "ho are, day by day, making an in1- 
l110rtal destiny. There is tbe old man tottering along on his 
stick, there is tbe little child on the ,yay to school, there is 
the rich lady with her jewels and costly fabrics, there is the 
laborer with his spade setting out to his daily toil; and each 
one has a soul, each one will live forever. Let us strive to 
take in this great thought. The tide of human beings flows 
on from morning to evening. New faces continually appear. 
They come and go. We do not kno,v their history, their 
destiny; but we know that each one has a spiritual nature, 
is made to the image of God, is possessed of a bright and 
glorious soul. We shall meet them again. There ,vill come 
a day when every one of the throng shall meet again every 

other. New populations; shal1 come in the place of. those 
,vho now inhabit the world. The stones of the greatest build- 
ings shall be reduced to powder, nay, the world itself will be 
reduced to ashes, and each soul that now lives in this city 
will survive in its own individuality and ilnmortality. There 
are some, it is true, who do not seem as if they had souls. There 
10 



218 


THE NECESSITY OF 8.A.L V ATION. 


are women "rbo have given themselves up to practices of un- 
cleanness by profession, and men ,vho habitually wal10w in 
drunkenness and sensuality; and the conversation of such 
persons is so horrid and obscene, their countenance so devoid 
of the least trace of shame or self-respect, they seen1 fi'OIll 
having neglected their souls ahnost to have lost them. They 
.seem really to have become the brutes whose passions 
they have Îlnitated. No! even they have souls. They 
cannot be brutes if they would. They are men, they arc 
Inade to tbe image of God, and so they must ever remain. 
A surgeon or. "Tas once called to attend a lnan who ,vas 
afflicted with cancer. This terrible disease had affected one 
entire side of the face, and had made in it the most dreadful 
ravages. The cheek was one shapeless mass of putrid flesh; 
the nose undistinguishable from the other :features, the eye com- 
pletely eaten out, and the bones of the forehead perforated like 
a sponge; but on turning tbe face of the man, the other side 
presented a wonderful contrast, being in nowise affected, and 
showing no trace of sickness except an excessive pallor. The 
countenance and features ,vere of a noble dignity and beauty, 
and strikingly like the expres
ion ordinarily observed in the 
pictures of our Blessed Lord. So it is with men's souls. Sin 
has eaten deeply into them, has deprived thelll of comeliness, 
has almost defaced the form they once had, has blinded their 
minds and deprived them of the interior eye; but still there 
remain traces of nobility, of the image of God. 0 man, ,,
ho- 
ever thou art, however deeply sunk in sin; I care not ,vhether 
your body be as filthy as the dunghill or the sink, or your 
heart be the prey of every passion and the slave of every 
vice; you have a soul: you have indeed lost much, but you 
have much remaining; you have that which is of more value 
than all else in the world-that which is absolutely of more 


* The surgeon alluded to was Dr. Baker, and a faithful portrait of the man 
was taken, which was preserved in the family. 



THE NECESSITY OF SALVATION. 


219 


value than all material tllings; and ,yllÎch to you is of more 
value than all spiritual things, than all created things in earth 
and heaven. 1"- on are great and noble and spiritual and im- 
mortal-you are capable of virtue, happine
s, and heav(\n- 
you arc like God, yon reselnble IIitn. II is image is stan1ped 
upon you. And how little you rea1ize tbis! Alas, you win 
realize it at the hour of death. 
But, secondly, ,,?e are in danger of losing our sonl8. To 
lose them in the literal sense is of course impo
si1Ic, for 
I have said that they are immortal, and will remain with us 
forever. It would be in some way a happiness to the 
wicked, if they could, in this sense, lose their souls, for it 
'\vould fì
ee them from the torment of a Iniserable eternity. 
But that cannot bo: the loss of our souls of ,,
hich ,,?o speak 
is the loss of God, who alone is the sufficient aud satisfying 
object of our affection. "Thou hast made our souls for 
Thee," says St. Augustine, " and they are not at peace until 
they rest in Thee." The losg of our souls is occasioned by 
sin, which separates us from God, but it is not final and 
irremediable lmtil death overtakes us in this state of 
estrangement. The danger of losing our souls, then, is the 
danger of falling into mortal sin and dying in that state. 
Now, the danger of sinning is, in the present course of God's 
providence, inseparable from the possession of a soul. Free 
will is a high prerogative, which, while it fits us for the 
highest state possible, renders sin also pos3i ble. As soon as 
God created the angels, a large part of them rebelled against 
Him, and were cast out of heaven. .As soon as lIe had 
made man, our first parents fell and 'were cast out of Para- 
dise. It is only a rational moral being that can sin; because 
sin is the voluntary transgression of the Divine law, and there- 
fore cannot be c<?mmitted by any creature but one who bas a 
,vill, that is, intellect ånd the power of cboosing. Almost 
all the material acts of sin which men commit are committed 
by brutes also. See the rage of the tiger, the thieving of the 


" 



220 


THE NECE3SITY OF SALVATION. 


fox, the impurity of the goat, the treachery of the adder, the 
gluttony of the s'Wine. But there are no sins in these 
brutes, because they have mere blind instincts. :Thfan, ho-\v- 
ever, has reason and a ,viII, and therefore he is bound to con- 
trol the instincts ,vhich he shares in COlllmon ,vith the brutes, 
and his failure to control tb
se constitutes sin. lIe has a. 
soul which belongs to God, and of which God is the sover- 
eign, and his failure to control his passions is rebellion against 
God, and pride. Further, as the possession of a soul renders 
sin possible, so the proclivity to evil, w.hich we inherit from 
the fall, and the temptations of the ,vorld, render it exceed- 
ingly probable. I do not lmow a more striking illustration 
of this, than the fear which the saints have ordinarily had 
about their salvation. Their sense of the value of the soul; 
their deep knowledge of their own hearts, and of the ro
t of 
evil that was in them, the ,yeakness of man without grace, 
and tl)e uncertainty of grace; have kept men of the greatest 
sanctity, lllen who have "\\Tought miracles, who have cast out 
devils, who have raised the dead to life, al,vays anxious about 
their perseverance, always begging of God the grace never to 
to allo,v them to con1nlit a mortal sin. But if these reasons are 
enough to make saints tremble, what reasons have not ordi- 
nary Christians to fear! A chain of evil habits, unguarded 
intercourse with men, the constant contact with the world, 
how fearfully do they augment the risk of losing our souls, 
which all run necessarily in this ,vorld. "'\Vhy, listen to the 
conversation of ten Inen, taken ahnost at random in this city; 
for half an hour walk through the city, from one end to the 
othêr; and see if the occasions of sin are not III ore frequent 
than can be uttered. This is deeply felt by men of the "yorld 
themselves. It lnakes them despair. They say there is no pos- 
sibility of saving their souls in the ,vorld. They say it is all 
in vain to try-that sin meets theln at every step. It is 110t, 
of course, true that sin is inevitable. If it were, it 'Would not 
be sin. But it is true that the abnosphere of the world is fear.. 



THE NECESSITY OF S.\LVATION. 


221 


fully surcharged with cyil. There is Inany a home in this 
city, many a place of pu1lic resort, Inany a den of secret 
iniquity, many a gaming-rooIn, and drinking-house, oyer 
which thero is an inscription legible to the angels, ,,-ritten in 
letter::; of fire," The gate of hell." There are many places 
,,?here souls arc sola daily and hourly, and oh, at ,vhat a 
price! Thirty pieces of silver "ras the price offered for our 
RedecIl1er, but the soul is often s01d for one, indeed, often for 
somet1)ing still III ore miserable-for tho gratification of an 
in1pure passion, for the indulgence of revenge, for a day's 
frolic. It is true the Evil One does not carryon his traffic 
under its O'Vll name and openly-that it is ,veIl concealed 
under specious pretences; but the danger is only so n1ueh tho 
greater. The occasions of sin are oyerywhere spread uuder 
our feet like traps and snares, and encircling us on all 
sides like nets. But oven this is not tho worst. The 103s of 
God id not only possible because of our free ,vill, probable 
because of the corruption of the ,vorld, but, in many cases, 
already certain. Meu, on all sides, have lost God, and need 
only an unforeseen death to make certain the loss of their 
souls. Who can tell how 111any are living in a state of mortal 
sin, month by month, day by day, year by year 
 They go on 
securely, smilingly; externally all goes on sInoothly; they arc 
successful and seelningly happy; they have plans for lnany 
years to come; but a voice has spoken, (, Thou fool, this 
night shall they require thy soul of thee." Oh! how ll1any 
died in mortal sin last year, ho,y many will die in mortal sin 
'next year! It needs only a little thing, a false step, a rail- 
,yay accident, an attack of fever, a change in the weather, a 
fit of apoplexy, and they are launched into eternity ,vithout 
,yarning and without preparation-death sealing for perc1i- 
tion those whom it finds deprived of the grace of Goù. 
Who, I say, can wonder at this, ,vhen he looks around him, 
and sees how little the soul is valued 
 0 Iny God! it i
 
enough to make the heart sick. Let us take a Catholic 



222 


THE NECESSl'l'Y OF SALVATION. 


family, for I \vill not take things at the worst. .A father has 
a family of children. lIe must send t11eln to school or col- 
lege. He finds an institution which pleases hÜn, and he will 
tell you that his children are doing excellently, and that the 
only drawback is that the school is Protestant or infidel. Is 
not this to betray the souls of his o\vn children 
 Sunday 
comes: it is true that there is the obligation to hear Mass, 
but some inducement offers itself to idleness or dissipation, 
and no J\Iass is heard, because it is only the soul whicþ is in- 
jured by the olnission. }Ionday comes: there is an opportu- 
nity of making some little gain in an unla\yful \vay. 1Vhat 
does it Inatter 
 We lIlust get rich, and do like our 
neighbors. The sons gro,v up in ignorance, and spend their 
time lIlOStly at the gaming-table or the place of carousal. 
The daughters grow up. They must be led by their lnother 
, to every scene of folly and sin, because the custom of society 
req uires it. Easter comes: the young people do not like to 
go to confession, and they add only one sin more, to those with 
which their hearts are already charged. And then the parents 
die, and the children come forward to take their places, and 
to bring up their children in still greater neglect and laxity. 
Thus Catholics are trained for the world, and souls for hell ; 
and if we take into the account the graver forms of vice, and 
consider how many are entirely the slaves of passion, we 
shall not \vonder that there are so fe\v that shall be saved. 
One of the Fathers, speaking of the great responsibility of 
tho priesthood, dilates on the hnpossibility of a priest's being 
saved \vithout great exertion and watchfulness. But if it be 
difficult for a priest to save his soul; \vhat shall I say of the 
laity, when I consider the prevailing habits of Catholics. It 
hardly seems to me too strong to say, that to TIle it would 
seem a miracle for any such one to be saved. I-Iow will 
men attain that which they do not care for, to which they 
give no thought 
 And so it is with the salvation of the sonl. 
Who thinks about it 
 Who takes any pains for it 
 Who 



TIlE NECESSITY OF SALVATION. 


223 


Inakes any sacrifice for it? The soul is Illore precious than any 
thing else, and yet e\Tery thing else is put before it. It is 
tralupled on in business, betrayed in friendships, choked by 
dOlnestic cares, irilprisoned in the filthy bodies of the 
licentious, and, as it were, annihilated in the drunkard. It is 
forgotten, neglected, outraged, despised, ignored. It is not 
so luuch sold as thrown a,vay. The body is cared for ,vith 
the most supreme solicitude. Every pain and aehe is 1'0- 
1ieved. Long journeys are undertaken to recover health that 
is lost or only threatened. The most celebrated physicians are 
sought after with eagerness. nut the soul is allowed for weeks 
and months and yearß to go on in a state of spiritual death. 
Confession, prayer, the sacraments, means so easy, means 
truly infallible in their efficacy, means "ithin the reach of 
all, are neglected, on pretences tllO most frivolous, ,vithout 
reason, and almost w'Ìthout motive. " 1Vho u,ill give water to 
rny ltead, and afountain of tears to my eyes, and I will weej) 
day and nigllt,fop the slain 0/ tIle clauglthr qf ?ny people I"
 * 
The loss of our souls is the greatest of all evils, because it 
is irremediable. I will not go into all that this point contains. 
It is too great a subject for us at present. I ,vill not d\vell 
on all that is meant by the loss of our souls, but I ,viII con- 
sider it simply as it is, the failure of reaching our end and 
destiny, and as irreparable. A.nd to help us to realize this, I 
will SUlliluon as a witness one who was the first to come short 
of his destiny, the devil. We do not kno,v how long it was 
after the creation of the angels that the devil sinned and fell ; 
but certainly there was a time when he ,vas a pure, bright 
spirit, rejoicing in the greatness of his endowments, and with 
a hope full of immortality. But there came a lnoment of 
darkness. He sinned: he was judged: he was cast frOIH 
heaven, and he sank into hell. There he is no,v. IIe is con- 
fined in chains and darkness. The tree has fallen; and as it has 
fallen to the north or to the south, so must it lie forever. Other 
* Jer. ix. 1. 



224 


THE NECESSITY OF SALVATION. 


nlÎstakes may be rectified, but this never. A læs in business 
may be made g?od by greater exertions and prudence; a 
broken-down constitution may be repaired by art and care; 
a lost reputation may be recovered by integrity and consist- 
ency in well-doing; earthly sorrow may be healed by time 
and other objects; sin may be rooted out by penance; but 
the loss of the soul is an evil complete and irreparable, and 
brings with it an undying remorse. ".A. tree !tath !lope: if it 
òe cut down, it groweth green again, and the b01lg1
8 tlwreof 
sprout. If its root òe old in t!w earth and its stock be dea(l 
in the dust, at the scent of water it shall spring and b7
ing 
fortl
 leave8 as when 'it was first plantecl."* But mall, when 
he shall be dead and stripped and consumed, I pray you, 
where is he 
 The cry of despair which the first lost soul 
uttered when he made the terrible discovery that he was 
really lost, is still ringing in the abodes of the damned, and 
the keenness of his misery is still unabated. Ages shall gò 
on, the last day shall come, and an eternity shall follow it, and 
that cry of despair ,vill still bo as thrilling, and that anguish 
as new and as irremediable. 
As reasonable men, I have appealed to you: \vhat is your 
decision 
 What does reason, what does conscience, what 
does self-interest say 
 You would not be listless if I were to 
speak to you of your property, your health, 
your reputation, 
but now I speak to you of your souls-your precious, immor- 
tal souls--
rour o\vn, Y01U. greatest good-a good that you are 
in danger of losing-the good whose loss is over,vhelming and 
irretrievable. They are in your hands for life or for death. It is 
said that to one of the heathen soothsayers, who was falned for 
his skill in discovering hidden things, a person once canle ,,
ith 
a living bird in his hand, and asked the seer to tell \vhether it 
\vaslivingordead. The inquirer intended to crush the bird with 
his hand if the ".ise man should say it was living, and to let it fly 
if he should say it was dead, and thus in either case to .put the 
* Job xiv. 7, SJ 9. 



THE NECESSITY OF SALVATION. 


225 


IH"Ctended magician to shame. nut the soothsayer sus- 
l)ccted the design, and answered: "The bird i
 in your halld- 
to kill it or to let it live." So I ans"
cr you, IllY brethrcn. 
Your souls arc in yuur hanùs, to kill theul or to let thelll 
live. Yon can crush thcIn in your grasp and smuther their 
convictions, or you can open 
rour hand and let theI11 fly 
forth in frcedo1l1 and gladness. 011, have pity on your souls! 
Your souls arc yours. Noone ,vill be the loser by the loss 
of your souls but yourselves. God ,vill not be the less happy 
if you arc dalnned; the saints ,villllOt lose any of their hap- 
piness if you fail of your sal vatioll; the angels ,rill be as 
light and blissful; the earth 
Till go on just the salne as ,,
hen 
you were on it; only you, you yourselves ,vill feel it, and 
you ,,,"ill feel it hopelessly. Ah, then, take pity on your 
souls ! You will one day "Tish that you llacl done it. One 
of the courtiers of Francis the First of France, ,vhon he ,vas 
dying, said: "Oh! ho,v many reams of paper have I "Tritten 
in tho ser\Tico of n1Y monarch! Oh! that I had only spc;nt 
one quarter of an hour in the service of lilY soul !" .A.. quar- 
ter of an hour! .L\.nd yon hayo days and 
Tceks. Ob, then, 
once more I beg JTou to take pity on your souls! If you 
have never before seriously taken to heart your eternal in- 
terest, at least do so no,v. Improve the thue of this n1ission. 
It is the time of grace. It may be to JOu the last can, the 
last opportunity. l\Iake, then, a good use of this tÏ1ne. Set 
aside the thought of other things, and give yourself to this 
alone. K o,r you have an opportunity of making Jour peace 
,vith God, and saving your soul. Think, now the hour has 
COlne, foreseen by God from all eternity, 1rhcn, ans,vering to 
the call of grace, I.shan regain IIis favor, which, alas! I have 
lost too long. \Vhat shall keep me back? See what is the 
difficulty, and weigh it in the scales ,yith your Í1nlllortal 
soul. Is confession difficult? A confession before the ,,-hole 
unÏ\Terse ,vill be more so. Is it hard to lose a little gain? 
It will be Inore so to lose your soul. Is it hard to break a 
10* 



226 


MORTAL SIN. 


tic of long standing 
 It \viII be hard to break every tie, and to 
live in eternal desolation. Is it hard to bear the remarks of 
companions 
 But how will you bear the taunts and jeers of 
the devil and his angels 
 And those very cOlllpanions who 
have led JOU to hell will taunt you for Y01U. base compliance 
to them. Let nothing, then, keep JTou back. * * * 
(Peroration. according to the circuillstances.) 


. 


SER!ION II. 


MORTAL SIN. 


(MISSION SEmWN.) 


" Know thou, and see, that it is an evil and a bitter thing for thee, to have 
left the Lord thy God."-JER. II. 19. 


IN the book of the prophet Ezechiel it is related that God 
showed to the prophet in a vision the city of Jerusalem. It 
was all stretched out before him in its greatness and in its 
beauty. The magnificent temple was there, with its stones 
and spires glittering in the sun; its streets \vere full of peo- 
ple, prosperous and happy; a people \vho \vere in possession 
of the true religion, \vho had been adopted by God as His 
children, and over WhOlll He had exercised a special pro- 
tection. It \vas a beautiful sight; beautiful to the eye, and 
well fitted to excite the most religious enlotions in th
 Inind. 
But there was something that checked these feelings of 
pleasure and delight. God permitted the prophet to see the 
interior of that city. He unfolded before him the secret 
abominations that were practised there. lIe sho\ved him the 
idolatries and impurities to \vhich his chosen people the J-e\vs 
bad delivered themselves up, and then in '\Tath "and indigna- 
tion God complained of the people and said: "The Ùu..q uit!l 
of tlte n01.l8e of I8rael and oj' Juda i8 exceeding great,. and 
the land i8 filled witl" blood,. and the city 
.8 fi2."'i with per- 




IORTÅL SIN. 


227 


verseness, fOIl they ha
'e said: The LOl'd Itatl" forsaken th(' 
earth, and the Lord seetlt not." * Then the joy of the prophet 
,yaf; turned in to sorro\v. 
To-night, IllY brethren, a vision nleets rny eye hardly less 
beautiful than that ".hieh met the eye of the prophet. IIo\v 
beautiful a sight is t]li
 church and thi:; congl'{'gation! Thi
 
church is rtti8ed to the honor of the true God. lts ,valls are 
salvation and its gates praise. And thi;:; congregation, beau- 
tiful as it i
 in the ::us:;emblage of a multitude of living, in- 
telligent beings-\vhere I see the olù man ,yith his cro\vn of 
silver hair, the young man and the young \"ron1an in the 
freshness of their bloom anel youth-is much 1110rc so re- 
garded as a Catholic congregation, as professing the true 
faith. nut tell Ine-for I cannot look into your hearts as tbe 
prophet did-telllne, does God see, beneath this beautiful, out- 
ward appearance, the abolninatiol1s of iniquity 
 Does God 
this night see in this chureh some heart that is in mortal sin '
 
Some Catholic ,-rho has renounced, if not his faith, at least 
the practice of his faith 
 Some child of pas::;ion who has 
swerved froln the path of justice, lost his conscience and the 
sense of sin, and ghren himself to the service of tbe devil 
 
Are there any here to-night in 1110rtal sin 
 There may be. I 
will confess, and you ,viII not think me uncharitable in doing 
so, I believe there are some. I kno,v not how many, but 
from what I know of the world, I believe there are SOUle 
here, in this congregation, ,,"hose consciences tell them they 
are in mortal sin. Oh! then, let me tell tbem what they have 
done. Let me show them \vhat mortal sin is. Let me })royû 
to thel11 that it is an evil anù a bitt(Jr thing for them to have 
left the Lord their God. This is IllY subject to-night. I 
will show you the dreadfulness of mortal sin: first, from its 
nature; secondly, from its effects on the soul; and thirdly, 
fro11l its eternal consequences. 
You know, my dear brethren, that we were created to 
* Ezechiel ix. 9. 



228 


:MORTAL SIN. 


Jove and serve God in this life, and to be happy forever with 
IIim in heaven. God bas given us this \vorld, and our own 
nature, all that we have or are; and He is ,villing that ,ve 
should enjoy the ,vorld and act out our nature. It is true, 
there are certain restrictions 'which fIe has given us. These 
restrictions are contained in IIis law, embodied.in the ten 
cOlnmandments. In these commandments God has circum- 
scribed our liberty, has put limits to what we n1ay do ; but I 
need not .say that these limits have been so fixed, not in order 
to abridge our happiness, but really to increase it. So the 
case stands on God's part. But no,v, on our part, we have 
an inclination to disregard the limits God has put on our use 
of the world, and to place our happiness in the creature. 
The world smiles before us, and we think this or that enjoy- 
ment would make us happy. It may often happen that the 
very enjoyment and comfort is one which God has forbid- 
den; but no matter, ,ve are strongly inclined to seize it, 
nevertheless, and to gratify our desire in spite of the prohibi- 
tion. This inclination is what is called concupiscence, and 
is sometimes exceedingly strong, so that it is very difficult 
to resist it. God has, how.ever, ahvays given us reason and 
faith, free will and grace, to enable us to overconle it. This, 
then, being so, you see that man stands between t,v"O claimants: 
the world on the one hand, inviting him to follo,v his own 
corrupt inclinations; on the other, God requiring him to re- 
strain his passions by tbe rules of virtue and religion. Now, 
what takes place under such circumstances 
 Alas, my 
brethren, I will tell you what too often takes place. I ,viII 
tell you what takes place so commonly tbat 1nen tal
e it for 
granted tbat it must be so-so commonly that the majority 
of men cease to ,,"onder at it-what happens every day, every 
hour, every minute. It happens that men listen to the voice 
of passion, renounce virtue and. reason, stifle grace, and turn 
away from God, to satisfy their desire for the creature. This 
is what happens daily, ]lourly, momentarily; and this is mor- 



MORTAL SIN. 


229 


tal sin, which is in its nature the greatest of all evils, con- 
ßidered in its relation both to God and 111an, as laIn aùout 
to sho",. JOu in this :first part of Iny discourse. 
Understand lne, n1Y brethren: the sin I aI11 going to speak 
of is mortal sin. I do not say that every transgre

ion of 
the la
" of God is Inorta1. Yon kno,v that it is 'not so. 
You know tbat there some actions w'hich luen cOIDlnit, ,vhich 
are forbidden, but by 'which a lnan docs not mean really to 
give up the friendship of God-solne sins ,vhich are not com- 
Initted with full deliberation, some sins in ,vbich the matter 
is very small, some sins w'hich come more from ignorance or 
frailty than from malice; and which God, Who sees thiugs 
just as they are, docs not regard as grievous. lIe if? dis- 
pleased with them, but not mortally oHended. lIe punishes 
them, but not 'with the utter ,vitht1r
t"wal of IIis favor. If 
lIe did, 'who of us could be saved 
 TIut every sin in ,vhich 
the soul sees clearly tbat she must choose behveen the friend- 
ship of God and tbe gratification of unlawful passion-in 
which, with full deliberation, in full defiance of any grave 
precept of God or the Holy Church, she obeys the call of 
corrupt nature, e, _ y 
uch sin is mortal, that, is, grievously 
offends God and cuts off the soul 
ro]n His grace. Do JOu 
want to know ,vhat a mortal sin is 
 It is an insult offered 
to God-Almighty God. One trembles to say it, but so it 
is. Yes! if you have committed one mortal sin, you have 
insulted Almighty God. And there is every thing in the 
act to make tbe insult deep and deadly. The greatness of 
an insult is measured by the comparative importance of the 
persons between ",-horn the offence passes. If one should 
come into the church and strike the bishop on his throne, 
would you not feel more indignant than if a common man 
in the street ".ere the object of the insult 
 You have heard 
ho,v Pius the Sixth was insulted; dragged about from place 
to place, until he died; and did you not feel indignant that 
such outrageB were committed on the person of God's vice- 
. 



230 


MORTAL SIN. 


gerent ? Now, ,yhen you committed a mortal sin you in- 
sulted, not the vicegerent of God, but God himself. You 
contemned IIis authority and despised I-lis greatness. Would 
JOu know Who it is Wholn you have offended 
 Look at 
that mountain trembling with earthquakes, and breathing 
forth smoke and flaIne, hear the thunder roll around its head, 
and see tbe lightning flash! :Thlark the people, how they fall 
back affrighted and terrified! What is the cause of these 
convulsions of nature, and this terror of the people 
 God is 
speaking. He spake in Mount Sinai and the earth trem- 
bled before Him; and it is IIis words then spoken that you 
have defied, 0 sinner! Are you not afraid of nis vengeance 
Whom you have offend.ed 
 Open the heavens and see the 
angels, thousands of thousands and ten thousand times ten 
thousand, prostrate before Him. See all the saints adoring 
fIim-the Blessed Virgin ]}Iary herself trembling before His 
greatness. And you insult Him! What are you 
 A crea- 
ture, a dependant, a slave. What would a 111 aster do if his 
slave should strike him 
 And you, a servant, a slave, a l11ere 
nothing, have not hesitated .to raise JOur hand against Al 
n1ighty God! . 
And for what have you done all this? For the pleasure 
of sin. You have preferred a vile, temporary gratification, 
to the favor of Ahnighty God. When you sinned, there ,vas 
on one side the beauty of God, the beauty of perfection, the 
splendor of grace, the joy of saints, peace of conscience, 
heaven; on the other there was the false pleasure of sin. 
You weighed them in the balance one with another, and, oh 
folly! in your estimation a moment's sin outweighed God 
and heaven and eternity. This is ,,,,hat the Almighty COln- 
plains of in Holy Scripture: "They violated 'lne arnong 'lny 
people lOT a l
anaful of ba'l'ley and a piece of bread to kill 
souls which sho-uld not die."* Oh! for how small a thing it 


* Ezech. xiii. 19. 


" 



1rIORTAL SIN. 


231 


is that you have been content to lose God-a fe,,," 3011ars of 
unjust gain, }nllnan respect, the gratification of rC'genge, no 
night"s debauch, a half-hour's indulgence of sinful thoughts, 
a forbidden word, an intoxicating gla::;s: for tbis JOu have 
thrown to the winds God and heaven. 'Vhat has lIe not 
done for )TOU 
 IIe takes care of you and gives you all you 
have. It is He ,vho 'v arms you by the sun, refreshes JOu 
by the air, gladdens and nourishes you by the green field. 
It is lie wIlo brought JOU through the dangerous time of 
childhood, who led you up through l11anhood, "rho redeemed 
you by IIis blood, made you a Catholic, and gave you your par- 
ents, friends, every blessing, and the hope of heaven beyond 
this life, and you ha ye grieved and hated Him. See Jesus 
Christ before the Jew's. lIe l1as spent Iris life in doing the:
l 
good. lIe has labored for them and is about to die for them. 
And now they spit on Him, th
y buffet IIim, they crown 
Him with thorns and bow the knee in mockery before IIirn. 
Nay, 0 sinner! thou art the Jew who did this. Thou by 
thy mortal sin hast made him an object of scorn. Thou hast 
spit upon Him, thou hast stabbed IIim to the heart. 1V ould 
you excuse a son from the guilt of parricide who should 
strike a knife to his father's heart, and should miss his aim? 
So, the sinner is no less guilty of the crime against the life 
of God because God cannot die. If God could die or cease 
to be, mortal sin is that ,vhicn wou1d kill Him. You have 
aimed a blow at the life of your best benefactor, of your 
God. And this is what passes in the world for a light thing. 
This is ,vhat men laugh at and boast of over their cups. 
This is what the world excuses, and takes for a matter of 
course; yes, this is what even boys and girls, as they grow 
up, desire not to be ignorant of-that they may know ho\v 
to offend God. This is sin, so easily committed and so 
often committed, so quickly committed and so soon.forgotten. 
Such it is in the sight of God and the holy angels. 0 sin- 
ner! when you smile, often when you are rejoicing over 



232 


MORTAL SIN. 


your wicked pleasure, the lleavens are black overhead, and 
God is angry, and the angel of vengeance stands at your side 
with a glittering spear, that he lnay plunge it in your heart. 
"'\Vhile you are careless, heaven and earth are groaning over 
your guilt. "Wonder, 0 ye heavens, and be in arnaze- 
ment," says God by the prophet. "Ny people have done 
two evils. Tiley l
ave left 'fne, the fountain of living water, 
and llave digged out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can llold 
no water." "Hear, 0 heavens, and give ear, 0 eartll,for tlw 
Lord hatl
 8]Joken. I llave brougl
t up cllildren and exalted 
tllern, but tl
ey have despised me. The ox kno
oetl
 his owner 
and the ass his master's crib, but Israel llath not known 'Jne, 
and tiny people hatl
 not understood. Woe to the sÏ1iful nat".on, 
a people laden 'with iniquity, a w
.cl
ed seed, ungracious 
cl
ildren: tlley have forsaken tIle Lord, they have blasplw'Jn ed 
thø Holy one if Israel, they have gone away backwarcl."* 
But in the second place, mortal sin is the greatest of all 
evils as regards the sinner himself. Let us consider what are 
its effects. Ah, my brethren, some of these effects are obvious 
enough. We have not to go far to seek them. We know 
them ourselves. What is the cause of much of the sickness 
that affects our race 
 What but sin 
 What is it that has 
ruined so many reputations, that once were fair and umblem- 
ished 
 What is it that has destI
oyed the peace of so many 
families 
 It is sin. What is it that makes so many Joung 
persons prematurely old, which steals the blooD1 froln the 
cheek and the lustre from the eye, and gladness from the 
heart, and strength from the voice, a
d elasticity fron1 the 
gait 
 Ah! it is sin. Yes! the effects of sin are visible and 
obvious to all around us, and these external effects of sin are 
dreadful enough, but they are not so dreadful as the internal 
effects, on which I purpose particularly to dwell. 'V ell, my 
brethren, I just said that the nature of a mortal sin is.to turn 


* Isai. i. 2, 3, 4. 



MORTAL SIN. 


233 


away from God to the creature. N O'V, its effect is to kill the 
soul. . There is a twofold life of the soul. One is a natural 
life, and this it can never lose, not even in hell, since it can 
never cease to be; and the other is the life of grace. You 
1\:now, my brethren, that in the heart of a good Christian 
thero dwells a wonderful quality, the gift of the Holy Ghost, 
,vhich we call grace. It is given first in baptism, and 
resides habitually in the soul unless it is lost by mortal sin. 
This it is which makes the soul accepta1le to God, and 
capable of pleasing IIilll, and of l11eriting -heaven. This 
grace was purchased for us by the blood of Jesus Christ, and 
is the most precious gift of God. It ennobles, beautifies, 
elevates, strengthens, and enlightens the soul in which it 
(lwells: in a \vord, it is the life of the soul. This grace abides 
in the soul of every faithful Christian, the little child, the vir- 
tuous young man and Joung woman, the old man and the 
matron, the rich and the poor. Everyone who is in the state 
of friendship with God is possessed of this grace. He may 1e 
poor, sick, weak in body, disgusting as Lazarus was, but if 
he is the friend of God, his Boul is endowed with the gift of 
grace. Now, the moment that one commits a mortal sin, the 
moment that a baptized Christian turns away from God to the 
creature, that moment his soul is stripped of this divine grace. 
The momeut that a rnortal sin is committed, in an instant, in 
the twinkling of an eye, that robe of grace falls off from the 
soul and leaves it in its deformity and weakness. It cannot 
be otherwise. "Can t,vo walk together," says IIoly Scrip- 
. ture, "and not be agreed 
" Can God rem
in united to the soul 
which has cast IIÍ111 off by an act of complete and formal rebel- 
lion 
 Oh, no! God bears much with TIS, lIe retains IIis 
friendship for us as long as lIe can, lIe restrains IIis displeas- 
ure when we are weak and Ï1Tesolute and tired in His service; 
yes, when we a little turn our heads and hearts to,vard that 
"
orld which we have renounced, when wo do things that, 
although wrong, are not altogether so grievous as to amount 



234 


MORTAL SIN. 


to a renunciation of His friendship: but once make a fun 
choice between God and the creature, and God's friendship 
is lost. You cannot reject it and retain it at the sanle time. 
God sees things exactly as they are: as yûu act to,vard Him, 
lIe will act toward you. By lnortal sin you renounce Him, 
and therefore He must renounce you. IIow can I describe 
to you the change that takes place in that momen t 
 It has 
more resemblance to the degradation of a priest than any 
thing else. If a priest commits certain great crimes, the Church 
prescribes that he be solemnly degraded from the priesthood; 
and nothing is more dreadful than the ceremonial. He stands 
before the bishop, clad in his sacred vestments, with alb and 
cincture, and maniple and stole, and with the chalice in ,vhich 
he has been wont to consecrate the blood of the Lord in his 
hands. Then when the sentence of degradation has been 
pronounced, the chalice is taken out of his hands-he shall 
offer the sacrifice of the Lord's body no more; the golden 
chasuble is taken off his back, no more shall he bear the glory 
of the priesthood; the stole is seized from off his neck-he has 
lost the stole of immortality; the white alb is torn from him- 
he has lost the beauty of innocence; and last of all, his hands, 
on which at his ordination the holy oil was poured, are 
scraped--he has lost the unction of the Holy Ghost. So it is 
in the moment that one commits a mortal sin.' The IIoly 
Scripture calls every Christian a king and a priest, because in 
his soul he is noble and united to God; and the soul of the 
meanest Christian is far more beautiful in God's sight than the 
grandest monarch, dressed in lús richest robes, is to our sight. 
"r ell, now, as soon as a mortal sin is committed, and God de- 
parts, then the degradation of the soul takes place. The devil 
tears away the garment of justice, the splendor of beauty, the 
whiteness of innocence, the robe of immortality, which 111ake 
the soul worthy of the companionship of angels, and the 
friendship of God. All, all are gone. Oh, how abject and 
wretched is such a soul! Oh I how quickly will this a,vful 



MORTAL SIN. 


235 


change go on, and even the poor soul herself thinks not of it ! 
And do not think this horrible history is of rare occurrence. 
No 1 it takes place in every case of mortal sin. Look at that 
young man. See, his air and bearing sho\v you that he knows 
something of the world, and that life has no secrets for him. 
Still there ,vas once a time \vhen that young man was inno- 
cent. He "ras a good Catholic child, his soul glistened with 
the brightness of baptismal grace. God looked do\vn from 
heaven and smiled with pleasure; his guardian angel followed 
him in watchfulness indeed, but ,vit.h joy and hope. lIe had his 
little trials, but 'what ,vas it all-,vhat was poverty or sickness 
or disappointment 
 1Vas he not a Christian 
 'Vas he not a 
friend of God, was not his soul beautiful in God's sight 
 
Such he was; but a day came, a dark and dreadful day, ,vhen 
a voice, a seducing voice, spoke in the paradise of that heart: 
" Rejoice, tlterefore, 0 YO'llng '!nan, in tllY youtlì, and let thy 
lwart clteel'tltee in tlte days of tlty youth, and walk in tlte 10ays 
of thy lwart, and in the sig/it if' tltine eyes." * lIe listened 
to that voice and he fell: he was a changed being, he had com- 
mitted his first mortal sin. Oh! if he could have seen the 
angry fro\vn of God, the sad and dO'\Ilcast look of his guardian 
angel. Oh! if he could have heård the shriek of triumph that 
came up from the devils in hell. "TltoU art also wOltnded as 
u'ell as 1oe, thou a1't become like unto us. Thy pride is brought 
down to hell. TAy carcass is fallen down.
' t But be hears 
nothing, he sees nothing, his brain is on fire, his þeart is burned 
by passion. The world opens to him her brilliant pleasures, and 
he is perverted. His tastes and thoughts are all corrupted. 
He does not like the sacraments any more, or J\Iass or prayer; 
his delight is in haunts of dissipation, in drinking and de- 
bauchery. He commits every mortal sin, and each deepens 
the stains of his soul and increases his misery. Perhaps bere 
and there, for a while, he comes to confession, but he falls 


* Eccles. :xi. 9. 


t Isai. :xiv. 10 J 11._ 


)0.. 



236 


MORTAL SIN. 


w 


back. He neglects his church, begins to curse and blaspheme 
holy things, and then he is a "Tetched being, astray frolll 
God, with God's curse upon hiln, the slave of the devil, the 
heir of hell, fair indeed without; but look ,vithin-full of rot- 
tenness and uncleanness. Oh, weep for him-" Weel) not for 
tAe dead," says Holy Scripture, "la1nent fo/" llim that goetliJ 
away, for lw sAall not return again." * Weep for that 
young man "Tho has wandered away from his God. Weep 
for that young woman ,vho has stained her soul 'with mortal 
sin. Weep for that old man who has let years go by in sin, 
and whose sins are counted by the thousand. Weep not for 
your child who leaves you to go to a distant land, but ,veep 
for him who is on his way to the land of eternal night, ,vhere 
everlasting horror inhabiteth. Weep for him who is on his 
way to hell. Is it not a story to make Ol1e weep? The ruin 
of a soul! " IIow is tlu] gold b8comt) dim, the fairest colo}' is 
cl
a'l1ged, tlte noble 80ns of Sion, and they that were clotlled 
with the best of gold, how are they esteemed as eart/wn ves- 
sels, and the iniquity of tlw dæuglder of my people is 'lnade 
gl'eatel" than tlw sin of Sodorn." t Once you were innocent, 
now you are guilty. Once you had a fair chance of heaven, 
now heaven is closed to you. Once, perhaps, you had rich 
Inerits laid up for heaven, you had gono through many trials, 
you had borne many sufferings, had achieved n1any labors of 
piety, and for each of thenl the good God, who never allows 
any good work to go unre,vardec1, had added many a jewel 
to your crown; but, alas! that cro,vn is broken, those jewels 
scattered and crushed, those merits lost. And what has done 
this. That mortal sin! that rebellion against God, that sin- 
ful gratification, that turning away fronl Goel and loss of 
grace which it brought with it. All! mJ brethren, ,vhen I 
think of these things, ,vhen I think that Ohristians are falling 
into sin, and, for a very trifle and a nothing, losing the favor 


* Jer. xxii. 10. 


t Lam. iv. 1, 2, G. 



MORTAL SIN. 


237 


of God, I feel as if I wished all preachers should go out to the 
whole world and cry out: "I
now thou and bee that it is an 
evil and a bitter thing for thec to have left the Lord thy God." 
I am not surprised that St. Ignatius said he ,,
ould be ,vil- 
ling to do all he did for the prevention of one Inortal sin. 
But, my brethren I have not as Jet described the full 
effects of mortal sin. It immediately makes us liable to the 
eternal punishment of hell. That is -what hell is made for. 
It is the prison for mortal sin. 1'1 postates frolll the faith, 
drunkards, murderers, adulterers, the impure, tbe dishonest, 
the profane, the impious, calumniators, and all sinners " shall 
have their portion in the pool burning with TI.l'e and brimstone, 
which is the second death." The sentence of damnation is 
in the next life, but damnation itself begins in this. 'Each 
onc of us is a candidate for heaven or hell, at this l)resent 
n10ment. lIell is not pon1etbing ,vhich is assigned to us 
arbitrarily. We dig our own hell for òurselves. "\Vhen we 
first commit a mortal sin we open hell under our teet, and 
every time we commit a fresh mortal sin ,vc deepen that 
hell. It may happen even that tHe sentence is passed in the 
same instant that we sin. Many men die in the very act of 
sin. The fallen angels, themselves, sank into hell the very 
instant they committed mortal sin, and the instant they 
committed the first mortal sin. You know, my brethren, 
that the angels were created very beautiful and po,verfuJ. 
There were myriads and myriads of them. They 'were 
as beautiful as Gabriel or Michael or Raphael; and yet, 
as soon as they committed one mortal sin, notwithstanding 
their glory, their beauty, their nUlnber, their splendid 
intellects, their power, they,vere hurled from the thrones of 
heaven; not only defaced, degraded, and dishonored by the 
loss of sanctifying grace, but condemned to hell, chained in 
everlasiing darkness, waiting for the judgment of the great 
day. If God dealt so with the angels, surely there is nothing 
unjus.t in cutting off the days of a sinner in the very moment 



238 


MORTAL SIN. 


of sin. Oh! my brethren, I will tell you what happens 
when one sins: the devils come and claim this soul as their 
o,yn: this poor soul becomes the slave of the devil, the heir of 
hell and of damnation. It is not for nothing, then, that 
conscience makes such a terrible alarm in the soul ,vhen we 
commit a mortal sin. Tell me, did you not at the moment 
you sinned hear a stern voice speaking in the depths of your 
heart? Tell me, 0 my brethren, did you not, ,vhen you 
"1ere deeply plunged in sinful enjoyment, feel a dreadful 
pang at your heart 
 Tell me, now that you stand in God's 
holy presence, tell me now, is there not something within 
YO
l that tells you, you are ruined 
 'Vhat is that? Ah! 
that is the beginning of the remorse of the damned. That 
is the sting of the ,vorm that shall never die. That is the 
shadow of thine eternal doom in thy soul. It tells thee 
that thou art the child of the devil; it tells thee that 
thou hast lost God, and that thou art not fit for heaven, 
but art an heir of hell. And it tells thee truly. If this 
mon1ent thou wert to die, like Dives, thou wouldst be 
buried in hell. And why? For a momentary gratification 
of appetite? Is that what you will be punis
ed for? No; 
but because, for a momentary gratification of appetite, thou 
hast forsaken the Lord thy God, broken His law, lost l-lis 
grace. Thou hast made thy choice. Thou hast chosen sin 
and not God, and death overtakes thee before thou hast 
returned to God by penance, and thou art lost; lost on 
account of thy sin, lost forever on account of thy sin. 
Go down to the chambers of hell, ask Diyes, ask Judas, 
ask the fallen angels, ask each one who in that dark abode 
drags out a long eternity; ask theln what it is that brought 
them there, and they will tell you, mortal sin. It is mortal 
sin that kindles that flame, that feeds that fire, that Inakes 
them burn unceasingly, and forever. Oh then, tell me! if 
you will not listen to reason, to God, to the angels; ,,'ill 
you not listen to your companions lost? Ifearken to theln as 



TIlE PARTICULAR JUDG :MENT. 


239 


from their dark prison they cry on t, " It is an evil and a 
bitter thing to have left the Lord thy God." 
Such, IllY brethren, is Inortal sin. Such is one nlortal 
sin. It does not require many mortal sins to lose God's 
grace or incur damnation. One is enough-one final de- 
liberate reùellion against God and his holy law. 
f * * 
(Peroration, according to the circumstances.) 


. 


SERMON III. 


THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT. 


(MISSION SERMON.) 


II It is a dreadful thing to faU into the hands of the living God."-HEn. x. 31. 


THERE is a mOlnent, my brethren, in the history of eacb 
immortal soul, .which, of all others that precede or follow it, 
is the fullest of experience: the monlent after death. The 
moment of death is indeed the decisive moment of our his- 
tory. Then the question is settled, once for all, .whether ,ve 
are to be happy or miserable for all eternity; but, for the 
most part, 1ve do not l\:now that decision. 1.Iany men die in- 
sensible. By far the larges part of t1Iose I have seen die, 
have died insensible. And even when the po,ver of the mind 
remains to the last, it is extremely difficult to form any true 
conception of that state of things into ,vhich the soul is 
about to be ushered. It is difficult to conc0ive aright before- 
hand of any thing to which we are unaccustomed. Did it 
ever happen to you to visit a strange country, and to form 
anticipations of what it ,vould seem like, and did not the 
reality falsify all your anticipations 
 'VeIl, how' much 1110re 
difficult to realize those things which the soul sees immedi- 
ately after death, and ,yhich are so mueh farther removed 



240 


THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT. 


from our former e
q)erience! According to Catholic theology, 
imrnediately after death, the soul appears in the presence of 
Jesus Christ to be judged-to receive an unalterable sentence 
to heaven or to hell. If to hell, 110 prayers can benefit it ; if 
to heaven, it goes there immediately or not, according to the 
degree of its goodness. But it is judged unalterably to heaven 
or hell, the moment after death. And Catholic theologians 
teach that this judgment takes place in the very chamber of 
death itself. There, in that room, while they are dressing the 
body for the grave, closing the eyes, bandaging .the n10uth, 
arranging the 1imbs in order, that soul has already learned 
tho secrets of the eternal ,vorld. Naked and alone, it had 
stood before its Judge, and heard its doom pronounced. To 
everyone, no doubt, even to the most pious, to those 'who 
have meditated on the truths of faith, there 'willl)e sOlnething 
alarming in this m0111ent; but, oh! what "\\Till it be to the 
sinful Catholic 
 What win be the thoughts and feelings of 
that large class of Catholics, now careless about their sal \Ta_ 
tioll, who are obeying every Í1npulse of passion, and breaking 
overy commandnlent of God 
 This, indeed, is a difficult 
question to answer. There is but little in this ,,"orld that 
can help us to portray the elnotions of the lost Catholic, the 
moment after death; but I win not on this account desist 
from atten1pting to describe it. I 
in consider your ad- 
vantage rather than my o,vn satisfaction, and though I feel 
deeply that I shall not be able to describe the scene I under- 
take in anything like the colors of trnth, I will undertake to 
do ,,"hat I can. 
First, th
n, follo,ving the soul beyond the IÏ1nits of this 
'world, I see her overwheln1ed with a conviction of the reality 
and trnth of the objects of her faith. Now., in saying tbat 
th
s soul obtains a conviction of t11e truths of faith, I do not 
mean to suppose the case of one ,vho has been a sceptic in 
this world. The truth is, faith is so strong a pr.inciple in the 
heart of a Catholic, that it is exceedingly difficult to put it 



THE P.AH.TICULAR JUDGMENT. 


241 


out or shake it. And although it sometÏ1p.es bappens that a 
Catholic; from reading bad books, or frequenting the society 
of those ". ho blaspheme his religion, or from becoming ac- 
quainted suddenly ,yith some of the difficulties ,vhich science 
seems to present to faith, and not knowing the answer to 
them, or from the petty priJe of seeming "riser than his 
neighbor::;, and making objections ,vhich unlearned Catholics 
cannot answer, lnay use the language of a sceptic; yet such 
cases are very rare, and the s
epticism is not very deep. A 
little guidance from one who knows better, and a little hu- 
mility on the part of such an objector, will set all right. 
But there is a kind of infidelity not so easily cured, and far 
lllore COlnn10n among Catholics-a practical infidelity, an in- 
sensibility and indifference to the truths of faith. The truths 
of faith-I mean, heaven and hell, God and the soul-arc 
not seen by the eye-it requires reflection to realize them; 
but the world, and the objects which it presents, are visible 
and tangible. The former are lost sight of, ,vhile the latter 
absorb all our thoughts. The body clamors for necessities 
and pleasures, and the soul, and things of eternity, are 
simply forgotten. It is almost the same to many men as if 
there ,vere no God, no eternity, no heaven, or no hell. 
Really, one hardly sees in what the lives of many Catholics 
,vould differ from what they are now if there were no God, 
no heaven or hell. I do not mean to say that they have no 
faith at all, for even the heathens have some faith; or that 
they never think of God, for then they would be brutes; but 
that these things have no real hold on their minds or influ- 
ence over their hearts. They never reflect. They stay away 
from the sacraments. They do not listen to sermons. They 
have no con
ect idea at all of the advantage they enjoy in- 
being Catholics; in a ",vord, they break the commandments 
of God on the s1ightest temptation, are children of this world 
and immersed in its cares and enjoyments. Now, one of 
the3e men. mèets with a Budden death. lIe goes out in the 
11 



242 


THE PARTICULAR. JUDGMENT. 


morning-perhaps he is a mechanic-and he falls fron1 a 
height. He is taken up and put in a litter hastily made, and 
carried home. It is apparent that life is ebbing fast. In a 
few minutes he becomes speechless. lIe has lost his sight. 
Ah! does he breathe at all 
 It is hard to say. The doctor 
comes in gre
t haste. He feels hi
 pulse, looks at him, and 
says, "It is all over. He has received an injury in a vita] 
part. lIe is dead." Yes, he !s dead. This morning he ,vas 
alive and well, he ,vas making his plans, he was talking of 
the weather-now he is dead. All his old thoughts and ex- 
perience are all rolled back by a new set of things that are 
forcing themselves on his vision. He is dead. lIe died sud- 
denly; but not ,vithout warning. Others have died in his 
home before-he is not young. He has seen wife and chil- 
dren die. It made him weep for a ,vhile; but he forgot it, 
and now his turn is come-he is dead. I will not stop to 
notice the grief of the friends he leaves behind. No; I will 
follo,v his soul, as it enters eternity. The voice of his friends 
dies on his ear-he begins to hear other voices. As he ceases 
to see the people in his room he begins to see other 0 bj ects. 
,Tho is that, that is standing at the foot of his bed 
 A 
neighbor was standing there but just no,v ; but this is another 
form, a form beautiful, indeed, but Inajestic and terrible. 
No; it is not anyone he has ever seen before, and yet, he 
ought to know that face. lIe has seen it before; it is the 
face his mother look ed on as she ,,,as dying-the Ütce 
he had often seen in Catholic churches. Yes, it is Jesus 
Christ. He knows it; it is the. same, and yet, ho,v different! 
'Vhen he saw that face in pictures, it was crowned ,vith 
thorns; now it is crowned with a diadem of matchless glory. 
'Vhen he sa\v that form in the church, it was naked, and 
hanging on the Cross; now it is clothed ,vith garments of re- 
gal magnificence. Yes, it is Jesus Christ! and He is looking 
upon him with eyes of fire. He turns to escape those eyes, 
and he sees there are other figures in the scene. There are 



TilE PARTICULAR JUDG
rENT. 


243 


two figures-one at the right hand, and one at the left. 'Vho 
are they? lIe ought to know theIn, for they know more of 
him than anyone cl::;e-they have been lÚs cOInpanions for 
life. One is very bcautiful-a being with golden locks anù 
cloud-like ,vings-that is his angel guardian; he looks saa 
now., for he has nothing good to say. .And the other is the 
black and hideous demon of hell, that crouches at his side, 
full of hate and malice, and triull1ph, too, fur he has dogged 
the steps of this poor sinner froln youth to age, and now the 
tinle has COlne fur him to seize his prey. .And now, as the sin- 
ner looks from one to another, the meaning of it an breaks 
upon him. Conviction flashes upon his Inind. TIe may not 
have been an infidel Lefore; but putting his past feelings by 
the side of his present experience, it seems almost tl8 if lIe 
had been. Did it ever happen to you to be talking quite 
unconcernedly, and aU at once to find that others were list- 
ening, before ,vhom for worlds JOU would not have used such 
unreserve. Wen, to compare small things "ith great, SOlne- 
thing like this will be tho feeling of the sinner v." hen the cur- 
tain of time draws up, and sho,ys him the realities of eternitJ. 
The 'whole tide of his past thoughts and feelings will be ar- 
rested, and, with a great check, roned back before the llew set 
of experiences and sights that rush in on him. Oh! he will 
say, what is this that I see and hear 
 1-Ias Jesus Christ a1- 
,vays been so near llle 
 Have IllY guardian angel and the 
deInon that has telnpted me been always in this very rOOIn ? 
Ah, 
res! it is even so. I have been living in a dream all 
my life, and pursuing shadows. It is true, as I learned in 
the catechisIn, and as the Church taught me, I ,vas not made 
for the world or for sin, but for God. I had a soul, and tbe 
end of Iny being ,vas to love and serve my 
raker. lIe has 
been watching me aU my days, and I have thought little of 
HÍ1n. I heard of .i udgnlent, but I did not gi ''"e heed to it, 
or I placed it far off in the future; but now it is here at the 
door. There is my Saviour, tbere my tingel guardian, there 



244 


THE P ARTICULAE. JUDG1\IENT. 


the demon. Once I heard .of these things, no,v I see them 
with my eyes. Yes, it is all true. The world did not seem 
to believe it, the world forgot it; but the ,,""orld was wrong. 
The poor and the shnple ,vere right, after all, and the wise 
ones taken in their o,v"n craftiness. Yes, Christianity is true, 
Catholicity is true; I cannot doubt it, if I would, for there it 
stares lne in the face 1 0, overwhelming conviction 1 
You have heard of the ans,ver of a self-denying old monk 
to a wild, licentious youth, who reproached him with his folly 
in living so severe a life for the sake of a hereafter he had' 
never seen. " Father," said the youth, "how much ,viser I 
am than you, if there be no hereafter I" " Yes, 111Y son," re- 
plied the aged lnan, "but how much more foolish, if there 
be I" 0 fearful discovery, to come on one for the first 
time, "\\"'ith a strong and deep impression, at the very thresh- 
old of eternity 1 0 miserable man 1 why did you n()t thinl( 
of these things before? Why did you rush into the presence 
of your 1\Iaker without forethought' N o\y, for the first 
thue, to think seTiously, ".,.hen there is no longer freedom in 
thought, or merit in faith. 0, the folly and the Inisery! 
But I must pass on, for these are but the beginning of sor- 
row"s. The conviction, then, that the soul acquires in the first 
InOlnent of her experience in the other world is accompanied 
by a mortal terror. Why is Jesus Christ there 
 'Vhy are 
the angel anel the demon there? Ah 1 he knows well. It is 
to try him. Y e
, he is to be tried, anel to be tried by an un- 
erring judge-by Jesus Christ. To be tried; and that is 
sOlnething he is not useel to. He never tried himself. He 
neyer exau1ineel his conscience. lIe ,yas afraid to do it, and 
if sometimes the thought of a hereafter intruded itself into 
his mind, he banished it, and thought he "ould esca.pe some- 
how or other. Perhaps he built on the very name of Cath- 
olic, or on the sacnunents, as if they possessed a n1agical 
po"\ver, and would change him at once, in the hour of death, 
tì'om a sinner to a saint. Perhaps he thought that God 



TIlE r ARTICULAR JUDG:.\IEST. 


245 


,yould stril
e a balance betw'ccu the good and the evil that 
was in him, and pardon him for being as wicked as he ",vas 
because he was nu ',or5e. Perhaps he built simply on the 
nlercy of God. So far as be thought at an, he built his 
hopes on SOITIe such foundation as this. lIe did. not kno\v 
bow, but he thought somehow' he ,vould get ofr. It is the 
old story. Ahnighty God said to Eve: "In the day thou 
eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." And Ev.e said to the 
serpent: ." ""1" e may not eat it, lest we dic." And the ser- 
pent said: "Y e shall not surely die." So it i3; man's self- 
loye reasons, and the deyil denies. But the tÏ1ne has come 
when the deceits of sin and the deyil are discovered. The 
sinner is to be tried. lIe stands as a culprit to be judged. 
.A.nd by ,vhat law is he to be tried 
 By the ten command- 
ments, of ,,,hich he has heard so often, and 'which he bas 
neglected so c0111pletely. God says: "Thou shalt not break 
Iny cOIllu1anÙlllcnts, and in the day thou breakest them thou 
shalt surely dic." God had said: "Thou shalt not commit 
adultery." lIe had committed it. God had said: "Thou 
shalt llOt steal;" and he had stolen. God had said: "Thou 
shalt keep holy the Sabbath day." lIe had broken the Sun- 
day and neglected the Sunday's Mass. God }]ad said: 
"Thou shalt do no Inurder;" and he had murder
d his o\"n 
soul by drunkenness. IIe had gro\\
n bold in sin, and 
thought thn.t God had hidden away his face, and ,vould 
never see it. And no,r he is brought to trial. There is no 
hope that Lis transgressions against the commandments can 
be hidden. The demon is there as bis accuser. 
"I claÍlll this soul as n1Ïne. Look at it; see if it does not 
belong to Ine 
 Does it not look like me ? 1\ T ilt thou take 
a soul like that and place it in thy paradise '
" .At these 
words the sinner looks down upon hirüself and sees his own 
soul. lIe has never seon it before. Oh, what a sight! As 
a man is horror-struck the first time he sees his blotched and 
bloated face after an attack of small-pox, so is he h01701''' 



246 


THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT. 


struck at the sight of his own sou1. Oh, how horribly ugly 
and defiled it is! What are those stains upon his soul 
 
Ah! they are the stains of sin. Each one bas left its sepa- 
rate mark; and to look at that soul you might see its history. 
There is the gangrene of lust, and the spot of anger, and the 
tumor of pride, and the scale of avarice. Ah! how hid- 
eous it is, a.nd how horrible to think how it is changed, for it 
,vas once like that beautiful angel that stands by its side, all 
radiant with light and beauty. It has no Tesemblance now. 
The \vords of the demon arc true; it resembles him. But 
the accuser goes on: "I clain1 this body as mine." lIe 
tUTns to the body, as it lies in the bed: "I claim those eyes 
as mine, by the title of all the lascivious looks they have 
gi Yen. I clain1 those Jlands as mine, by the title of all the 
robberies and acts of violence they haye committed. I claim 
those feet as mine, because they were swift to carry him to 
the place of forbidden pleasures, and slow to go to the house 
of God. I claÎ1n these ears as mine, by the title of all the 
detraction they have drunk in so greedily. I claim this 
Inouth as 111ine, by the title of all the blasphemies and impu- 
rities it has uttered. See," says he, "this body is mine; it 
bears my mark;" and as he speaks he points to a scar in the 
forehead, the remnant of a wound received in a drunken 
affray in a house of ill-fame. Surely he has said enough; 
but he is not accustomed to be believed. lie bas now spoken 
the truth indeed, because truth serves his purpose better 
than falsehood ,vould have done. But be knows he is a liar, 
and therefore needs confirmation; so he goes on: "I have 
\"itnesses, if :rou want then1. Shall I bring them up
" 
Jesus Christ gi ves his permission. And now see, at his 
word, a band oJ lost spirits come up from hell. Oh! ho,v 
pa
e and haggard they look, and how they glare on the sin- 
ner as they fix on hun a look of recognition. Who is that 
,vho speaks to him first, and holds out her long withered 
fingers to him, and says, with a horrid laugh : "I think you 



THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT. 


247 


know me." Oh! that is the poor girl he seduced. She 
says: "I followed thee to ruin; it is fitting thou shonldst 
follOl\r me to hell." But there is another \,OInan. 'Vho is 
that 
 That is his poor \,ife; his 1>001' \vife, who had to put 
up \vith all the cruelties and violence he practised in his 
beastly drunkenness; \vho was led Ly \vant to steal, and by 
despair to drunkenness. She looks upon him \vith a blooù- 
shot eye. "My husband," she says: "thou ,vert my tor- 
Inentor in time; I will be thy tomentor in eternity." But who 
are those young people, that young lllau and young ,yoman 
 
Oh, they are bis eldest children, his ùoy and girl, of "hOlll 
he took no care; \vho, finding nothing but a hell at home, 
went out-the one to the tavern and the gaIning-room, 
the other to the ball and the dance and the lonely place of 
as
ignation, and, after a short career of dissipation, were both 
cut off in their sin. They meet him, and now tlley: say: 
" Father, thou didst pave thè way of perdition for us, and now 
we will cling to thee, and drag thee deeper, ,vho art at once the 
author of our life and of our destruction." Ah! lIas not the 
demon made out his case? Can there be hope for one like 
that? Are you not ready to condemn him yourselves to hell? 
But .wait-perhaps he did good penance. And the Judge, 
turning to the angel guardian says: "1.Iy good and faithful 
servant, what has thou to say in behalf of this soul, ,vhich 
,vas committed to thy especial care r' The angel looks down 
upon the ground and sighs, and ans,vers, "Most just and 
holy Sovereign, alas! I have nothing to say that can set 
aside tbe accusation Thou hast beard. All I can do is to vin- 
dicate Thy justice and my fidelity. I have given to the man 
all the graces Thou hast prepared for him. lie was a Cath- 
olic. lIe had the sacraments. He had warnings. lIe had 
faith. He had many special graces. He had the n1ission; 
and I myself often spoke to him in his heart, calling him 
to do penance, but he never did do penance. lIe was 
careless in attendance at 
lass. lie was seldom at the 


. 



248 


THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT. 


confessional, and when he did come he made his confes- 
sion without a sincere purpose of amendment, and soon re- 
lapsed into his former sins, and at last he died without 
penance. Therefore there is nothing left for me but to 
resign illY charge and to return the crown" -here the angel 
takes up a beautiful crown-" to return the crown which Thou 
hadst made for him, that Thou mayst place it on another 
brow." "Dost Thou not hear," the demon once more cries out 
impatiently-" Dost thou not hear what the angel says 
 Yes, 
this man is mine, has always been mine. I did not create 
him, and yet he al,vays served me. Thou didst create him, and 
yet he has refused to obey Thee. I never died for him, yet 
he has been Iny willing slave. Thou didst die for him, and yet 
he has "blasphemed Thy name, broken Thy Jaws and despised 
Thy promises. Thou didst allure him by kindness, but wert 
not able to win his affection. I led him to hell, and found him 
wining to follow. 0 Jesus, thou Son of the living God, if 
Thou dost not give me this soul, there is neither truth in 
Thy word nor justice in Thy awards." The demon speaks 
boldly, but Jesus Christ suffers him to speak so, because he 
he speaks trnly; and 011, with ,vhat terror does the poor 
sinner hear that truth! But terror is not the only feeling 
that is to fill his heart. Despair is to come in, to Inake his 
lnisery complete. He begins to cry for mercy. "0 God, 
mercy! have mercy, 0 Jesus Christ! Do not let me perish 
whom Thou hast redeemed. I have had the faith; oh, do not 
let me come to perdition! Only one quarter of an hour to do 
penance 1" Can Jesus Christ resist such an appeal ? No, my 
brethren, if there were a real disposition to do penance in the 
heart. I will undertake to say that if the devils of hell were 
willing to do penance, God would forgive them. But there 
is no penance ill the other ,vorld. There is only the desire 
to escape punishment, not the desire to escape sin; and being 
('ut of the oràer of the present providence of God, which 
leaves the will free, there is no real conversion there. There- 



TIlE P ARTICULAH. JUDGMENT. 


249 


fore Jesus Christ answers: "0 ,vicked Inan, thy deeds con- 
ùemn thee. Thou callcst for 111erey., hut it is too late. The 
tinle for Inerey is over! Mercy! thou Last ShO'Vll no 
Inercy to thyself
 to thy ,vife or children. 
Iercy! I have 
shown thee nlercy all the days of thy life. I sent thee Jny 
preachers, and thon did:,t refuse to listen. There is no Inercy 
no,v but justice-and therefore I pronounce the everlasting 
sentence. I consign this man's soul to helI, and Lis hody to 
the re3urrection of d
LJnnation." Did you hear that howl? 
That "as the devil's howl of triumph. Jesus Christ is gone. 
The angel is gone; and the devil goes to tLe body. They 
have not done '\Yfishiug it. lie begins to ""'"ash too. ",Vhat is 
he doing. lie is washing the forehead; for on that forehead, 
the mark of Christ, the holy cross, was placed in haptisrn, 
and he is "
abhing it out, and with a brand from hell be places 
there his o,vn signet-the signet of perdition. .A.nù now. the 
soul, feeling the fun extent of her nlisery, cries out: "I anl 
danlned. I anl danlned! no hope more; not even Purga- 
tory. Oh, I never thought it ,,-ould conle to this; I did but 
ùo as the others. I ,,"ås no worse than Iny cOJnpaniol1s, and 
now I am lost. I that 'WfiS a Catholic, I that had always a 
good i1ame, and ,Y3.S liked by my friends. And 011, are the 
judglnents of God so strict? ",Vhat will become of my conl- 
panions 'Wholn I left on the earth, wild and reckless like my 
self
 Will they too follow me to this place of torment! Oh, 
,yhy did not the priest speak of this? Alas! he did, but I 
w'ould not hear. .Alas, alas, it is too late no"T! Shan I 
never see Jesus Christ again 
 
Iust I forever despair 
" And 
a yoice rises from the ,,-aUs of eternity with ten thousand re- 
verberations: "De
pair." Can there be any thing more dread- 
ful still 
 Yes, the sinner's cup has one more ingredient of 
bitterness-renlorse. Yon know ,,
hat a cOInfort it is to be 
able to say, "It was not my fault, I did .what I conld.'1 
But the sinner "ill not have that comfort. On the contrary, 
he ,viH say, "I lllight have been saved. It is aU true which 
11* 



250 


THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT. 


the angel said. I was a Catholic, and had the means of sal- 
vation. I might have been saved, saved easily, more easily 
than I was lost. I was never happy; sin never made me 
happy. I sinned, and gained for myself misery even in the 
other ,vorld. Fool that I was, I might have done penance, and 
been happier after it, in time and in eternity. IIow little 
God asked of me! I had the mission, if I had but made it 
well. Oh, ,vhat trouble I took to be damned, and how little 
was required of me to be saved ! Yesterday, God was ready; 
the sacraments were at hand, the church door open, the 
priest was awaiting me; but now all is closed. Oh, if I had 
thmn no,v I" But his complaints are silenced. An iron grasp 
is on his throat. The demon has his black hand on his throat 
and chokes him; then he puts his horrid arms around him, 
and hugs him as the anaconda hugs her victims. He carries 
him s,viftl y through the air: down, down they go-until at 
last they reach the gates of hell. The:r creak upon their 
hinges, they open, the denlon enters with his prey, and casts 
it on the bed of flames prepared for it. Then a yell is heard 
throughout those dismal regions: "One 1n01'e Catholic voca- 
tion tbro\v'n R'way, one more soul lost, one more devil in hell." 
Come, let us go back to that roon1 where the corpse is laid 
out. They have just finished preparing it for the grave, and 
all that we have described has been taking place in that very 
room too, and they have not known it. They have snloothed 
the body and laid a white cloth over it; and they say, ho\v 
natural it looks. It wears the smile they remember it used 
to ,veal' in youth, and that poor soul they ar
 talking of is 
ùanlncd. Jesus Christ bas been there, and adjudged it to 
hell. And this is going on ever
r day. Wherever death takes 
a lnan, there judgnlent meets him. J esns Ohrist meets men 
in rtll kinds of places. You know ho,v death 1net Baltassar. 
lIe was a drunkard, an adulterer, a sacrilegious robber; and 
one night, when he was drunk, and held a grand feast, sur- 
rounded by his concubines, and ,vith the vessels of God's 



TllE PARTICULAR JUDG MEÌ't". 


25] 


house on his tal)le, a hand appeared on the wall and wrote 
this sentence: ":ì\lene, Mene, Thecel, Phares;" and that night 
he ùiecl. Y 05! in the lnidst of their sin; in the place ,vhere 
they go, J e:-;U8 Christ Ineet5 the soul, and condellllls it to hell. 
lie meets it in the grogshop, w11ere wild COlllpallions are gath- 
ered together, and one of them falls to the ground, under the 
blo,v of a companion, and dies. There upon that spot, ,vith 
those bad conlpanions standing around, ,vith the sounù of 
blasphemy in his car, Jesus Christ, unseeD, meets that soul 
anù conden1ns it to hell. Another is shot in the street, on 
his ,yay to keep an assignation, aud then anù there, in tho 
street, Jesus Christ meets him and condemns him to hell. 
One dies in the low hoycl, ,,
herc squalid vice and misery 
have ùone all they could to brutalise the inmates, and then 
and there Jesus Christ, in that hovel, meets the soul and con- 
demns it to hell. .1\.nother dies in a bed covered ,,,ith silken 
tapestry, and as he dies he sees the face of Jesus Christ look- 
ing in through the silken curtains to pronounce the sentence 
against him, who had made a god of this ,vorld. Another 
dies in prison, and there in that cell wh
ro hUlnan justice 
})laced hhn,. d.i vine justice meets him, and in that prison 
Jesus Christ meets him and condemns Litn to hell. Yes, 
wherever death meets you, 0 sinner, there Jesus Christ \vil1 
llleet Jon, and tbere he ,vill condemn you. It may be to- 
nlOrrO\V. It may be in the very act of the comlnission of sin. 
It lnay be ,,?ithout any opportunity of preparation, you will 
stand before an inflexible and unerring Judge. Oh, then, do 
not delay no,v to propitiate IIÏ1n while you can. In that 
tribunal after death, there is no mercy for the sinner; but 
there is another tribunal, ,yhich He has cstab1ished, \vhere 
there is mercy-the tribunal of penance. There the accuser 
is not the demon, but the sinner himself; and he is not only 
his o,,?n accuser, but his own ,vitness against hilllself. There 
the angel guardian waits \vith joy, not "with sorrow. There 
Jesus Christ is present, but not in wrath. There the sentence 



252 


HEAVEN. 


is, " I absolve thee from thy sin," not "I condemn thee for 
thy sin." Oh, then, appeal from one tribunal to the other. 
Appeal from Jesus Christ to Jesus Christ. Appeal from Je- 
sus Christ at the day of judgment to Jesus Christ in the con- 
fessional. And if thou wouldst not be condemned hy I-IÍ1n 
1vhen thou seest I-liIn after death, be sure thou gettest a fa. 
vorable sentence from I-lim now in the Sacrament of Pen- 
ance. "lJIake an agreement with thy adversary q1.tickly, 
wl
ilst tltoU art in tlw way with I
Ùn: lest 'perl
aps the adver- 
sary delive1 ' tlwe to the judge, and the judge deliver- thee to 
tlte officer, and thou be cast into prison. Amen. I say to 
tltee, tho
t shalt not go 01./;t from tltence till thoul pay the last 
farthing. ,,* 


.. 


SERMON IV. 


HEAVEN. 


(MISSION BI:RMON.) , 


.. Rejoice and be. exceeding glad, because your reward is very great in hea-- 
ven."-ST: :MATT. v. 12. 


SOME of you may remelnbcr the joy with which, after a 
sea voyage, you arrived at home. The voyage had been 
very long and wearisome. You had suffered, perhaps had 
been in danger. At last 
TOU heard the sailors cry" Land;" 
and after a while, your less practised eye began to discern the 
LIne hills of your native country. Ob, ho,v that sight re- 
vived you! How your sufferings and dangers were all for- 
gotten in the thought of the ,velcome that awaited you at 
home ! Well, life is a voyage on the ocean of time; often a 


· St. Matt. v. 25. 



IlEA VEN. 


253 


tempestuous, always a dangerous voyage; and in order to 
animate our courage, to cheer and console us, God has al- 
lo,ved us ii'om time to time to catch a glimpse by faith of our 
distant home of heaven. Let us lift up our thoughts no,v to 
that happy land, the land that is very far off, the land that . 
is wide and quiet; the celestial paradise, tho home of the 
blessed, the city of God. I know that we cannot gain any 
sufficient idea of it. I know that eye hath not seen its 
beauty, ear hath not heard the story of it, neither hath the 
heart of man conceived its image; but we must do as men do 
with some costly je"wel: turn it first on one side, then on 
another, to catch its brilliancy; and if at the last we fall 
down, blinded and dazzled by the splendors ,vhich Ineet us, 
we shall in this ,yay at least conceiye something of the great- 
ness of those things .which God has l)rovided for those ,vho 
love Him. . 
The 1101y Scripture represonts the pleasures of heaven in 
three different lights: first, as Rest; second, as Joy; third, 
as Glory. Let us, tben, meditate upon them for a while, 
under each one of these three aspects. 
First, then, heaven is a place of rest, by which I under- 
stand the absence of all those things which disturb us here. 
True, there is happiness even in this life, but how unsatisfac 
tory, ho,v fleeting! IIere ,ve are never far off from \\Tetched- 
ness, and never long without trouble. You go into a great 
city: how rich and gay every thing looks; ",
hat crowds of 
,yell-dressed people pass you! .Ah! in the next street there 
is tbe dismal hovel "\vhere poycrty hides its head, and the chil- 
dren cry for bread, and there is no one to break it to them. 
You are strong and healthy, and it is a strange, fierce joy for 
you on a cold day to struggle ",
ith the buffetings of the ,vin- 
try blast; but see, the rude wind that kindles a glow on your 
cheek steals away the bloom from yonder sick man, ,vhose 
feeble step and sharpened features tell of suffering and 
dieease. You have a happy family, and when yon go home 



254 


HEAVEN. 


your children clamber up on your knees, and your wife meets 
you witb a smile of affection. Alas! next dQor, tbe widow 
weeps the night long, and tbere is none to comfort 11er, for 
the young man, the only son of his mother, has been carried 
to his long home. And as if this were not enough, as if sick- 
ness and poverty and death did not cause misery enough in 
the world, men's passions, hate and envy, lust, avarice, and 
pride, unite to make many a moment wretched that might 
else have been hapP
r. But in heaven these things shall be 
no more. In heaven. there shall be complete and perfect 
rest. The poor man will no more be forced to toil hardly 
and anxiously to put bread in his children's mouths-to rise 
up early, and late take rest; for there they shall not hunger 
nor thirst any Inore. The sick Inan then sh
ll leap as a 
hart; he shall run and not be w-eary; he shall walk and not 
faint. The ,vido\v's tears shall be dried, for husband and SOIl 
shall be again restored to her. Ob, what a day shall that 
be, when dear friends shall meet together, never to part 
again, and God shall vdpe all tears from their eyes, and sor- 
row and sighing shall flee away; when the bodies of the 
saints, glorious and immortal, no longer subject to decay or 
fatigue or death, clothed in light, shall enter the gates of the 
celestial city, and shall have a right to the tree of1ife! And 
there shall be no sin there, no gust of passion, no reproach of 
conscience, no sting of temptation. In this life, says St. 
Augustine, we have the liberty of being able not to sin, but 
in heaven we shall have the higher liberty of not being able 
to sin. Brother shall not rise up against brother, neither 
shall there be war any more, for the former things are passed 
away. There shall be no strife or hatred or envy; no wrong 
or oppression; no unkindness or coldness; no falsehood or 
insincerity; but within a perfect peace, and ,vithout an un- 
alterable friendship behveen all the inhabitants of this happy 
land, each rejoicing in tlle other's happiness and glory. And 
there is no end to these joys of heaven. Here our best pleas- 



HEAVEN. 


255 


ures arc alloyed by their transitoriness; but there, there is no 
fear for the future. No w'ave disturbs the deep, clear sea of 
crystal that lies before the throne of God. The angel has 
sworn that time shaU be no longer, and the great day of eter- 
nity has hegun. 0 heay-enly Jerusalelll! 0 city of God! 
,vhich has no need of sun or llloon to enlighten it, for there 
is no night there! ,velcome hayen of rest to the poor exilee 
of earth! Blessed are they that s11311 cnter thy gates of 
pearl and tread thy streets of gold, for thou art the perfection 
of beauty and the joy of the ".101e earth. In thy secure re- 
cesses the ,vicked cease from troubling and the ,veary are at 
rest. " Blessed are they that die in the Lord, for they rest 
from their labors. They shall not hurt or destroy in aU 
11IY lloly n101u1tail1, saith the Lord. l\Iy people shall be f
] 
just; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my 
planting, the work of my hands, to glorify me." 
But though it is easíer to describe hc
n"en as a place of 
rest, that is not the "\\"hole description of it. IIeaven is also 
a place of joy, and of joy the most complete, the most pure, 
the most satisfying that the human heart can possess. Joy 
in seeing and loving God, or, as it is called, in the Beatific 
Vi
ion. This it is in which consists cssentially the Christian 
idea of heaven. I say the Christian idea, for our faith 
teaches us to look forward to a happiness very different fi'om 
what we could have expected by nature. Of course natural 
reason teaches us to look forward to a future life, but it 
prolnises no other kno","ledge of God but such as is possible 
to our own natural powers ",,.hen fully developed. But 
Christianity promises us a kno,vledge of Ged to which our 
natural powers, how-ever enlarged, could never aspire. It 
teaches us that we shall see IIim as lIe is-not only think 
about IIim and commune with IIim and adore fIim, but 
actually look upon IIis unveiled Divinity, gaze upon Him 
face to face. It is not of our Lord's glorified humanity that 
I speak. That, too, we shall see, and that will be a sight of 



256 


HEAVEN.. 


unspeakable beauty and joy; but we shall see more: we shall 
look upon and into the Divine Essence. No,v to our natural 
powers this is in1possible. A blind n1an can know a great 
deal about the sun. He may héar it described, he may reason 
about it, he n1ay feel its effects, but he cannot lift up his eyes 
to heaven and see it. - So, naturally speaking, we have not 
the faculty whereby to see God. "No rnan l
atl
 seen God 
at any tÙne," says St. John. "1Vltom no ?nan l
ath seen, or 
can see, wllo innabiteth the ligl
t inacce8sible," says St. Paul.

. 
Clearly there must be some great change in us, something 
given to us that does not belong to us as men, in order to 
enable us to see God, and the Holy Scripture tells us what 
that change shall be: "We shall be like to IIÙn, fOl
 we 81
all 
8ee Din1 as IIe is," says St. John.t We ourselves shall be- 
come divine and godlike. The human intellect shall be 
n1arvellously strengthened by a gift ,yhich the Church calls 
, 
the light of glory, which shall enable us to look upon God 
and live. We are told in Scripture that God walked in the 
garden of Eden and talked ,vith Adam and Eve in the cool 
of the day. This high companionship was broken by the 
fall. 1\Ian ,vas reduced to the rank that essentially belonged 
to hÏ111, and ,vas deprived of that which had been accorded 
to him of grace. But by baptism he acquires once more a 
right to that familiar intercourse with God, and in heaven 
he enters upon its enjoyment. For this -reason heaven is 
called our fatherland. It is our lost inheritance recovered. 
There we ourselves shall be the sons of God, and God will 
be our Father. Think what is the relation of an affection- 
ate son to a good and wise father. What submission with 
equality-what complete syn1pathyand con1munity of inter- 
est-what intimate cOlnmunication of thought and feeling! 
So, 0 Christian soul! shall it be bet,,'"een you and God. 
God ,viII be your God, and you will be IIis child. Thou 


* St. John i. 18; I. Tim. vi. 16. 


t I. Ep. St. John iii. 2. 



HEAVEN. 


257 


shalt dwell in nis home, and all that lIe hath shall be thine. 
"All tlângs are yours, the wOl l iel, or life, or death, or tldnf/s 
p]lescnt, 0]' tllings to c01ne,. for all al'e yours, and YO'lt are 
Ghrist's, and Gltrist is God's." 

 Yos, God himself shall be 
yours. You shall look around you and see IIis towering 
altitudes, and count them as your own. You slullliook deep 
down into the depths of His w'isdom and be wise as God is. 
You shall find yourself upborne by Iris power and good- 
ness, enveloped by His glory, and adorned with IIis beauty. 
Oh! my brethren, is not this joy
 Tell mo, te11 1nc, young 
lllen, tell me, chilùren, tell me truly, one and all, what have 
been the happiest moments of your life? _ 'Vas it the mo- 
ments you have spent in sin 
 Was it the hour of some 
earthly success or triumph? Or was it not rather at'some 
hour "when God ,vas 'near to you, and you felt the music of 
IIis voice and the perfume of IIis breath-some time 'when 
you were l)rayillg, or when you had made a good confession 
or communion, or when you were listening to a sermon? I 
know it "'"as. I kno,y there are tilncs when every man lIas 
felt the words of the Psalmist: " 1fhat have I in heat'en? 
and besides Thee w/
at do I desire 'ltpon earth? TIlou art 
the God if 1ny hea]lt, and tlte God tflat is 'lny jJortion for- 
eVC1\"t What are all the attainments of learned men to 
Him ,vho is all-,,'"ise 
 What are all the conceptions of 
genius to IIilll ,vho is all-beautiful, or the moral excellencies 
of good men to Irim who is all-holy 
 Yes, the thought of 
God is the source of the purest and highest pleasure on 
earth. That thought has ravished the saints ,vith ecstasy, 
and made the lnartyrs laugh at thei

 torments. And if 
lllerely to think about God in this life can lnake us so happy, 
,,'"hat. must it be to see IIim in tbe life to come? To know 
God and to love IIhn, to know TIim as "'"e are known by i 
Him, to love llhll with our whole souls, to possess TIim 
. 
* 1 Cor. iii 23. t 1"8. lxxxü. 26. 



258 


HEÅVEN. 


without the fear of losing Him, to take part in His counsels, 
to enter into Iris ,vill, and to share in His blessedness-this 
is a joy, perfect and supreme; and. this is the joy of 
heaven. This is the joy offered to you. This is all-satisfy- 
ing. The soul can desire nothing more. This is permanent, 
for heaven is eternal. This is always new, for God is riches 
and beauty inexhaustible and infinite. Oh, IllY brethren, 
do not envy those who ,vere near om" Lord's person when 
He was upon earth. I know it is nat.ural to do so. I know 
it is natural to say, "If I could but have seen I-Iis face, or 
heard the sound of His voice;" but no! yours is a stil1 
happier lot. Do not envy 1rfagdalene, who kissed His feet, 
nor St. John, on whose breast He leaned, nor the Blessed 
Virgin, who bore Him in her arms. Is it not permitted to 
the poorest and the weakest of you to see Him, not in His 
humility, but in nis glory-to converse ,vith I-lim and dwell 
with Him in the land of the livjng 
 OIl! blessed are they 
that dwell in Thy house! The world passeth away, and the 
lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth for- 
ever. Blessed are they that hear the 1V ord of God and do 
it ! Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God! 
One would have thought that this ,vas enough. To be 
free from all the trials and sufferings of this present life, and 
to enjoy the fullest happiness a hUlnan soul is capable of-one 
would think that were heaven enough, and that no more 
could be added. But the bounty of God has added another 
element to the happiness of heaven. lleaven js a .place of 
glory-not of rest only, but of glory also. "Glory, honor 
and peace," says the apostle, "to every man that doeth "'Tell." 
Hea yen is the place of God's glory, and it is also the place 
of the glory of the saints. Even here the good are honored 
-the really good. True, for a while they Inay be despised 
and persecuted, but, in the long run, nothing is honored so 
much as virtue. During the lifèthne of Nero and St. Paul, 
Nero was a powerful emperor, praised and flattered by his 



llEA VEN. 


259 


courtier;;, and St. Paul a friendless and despised prisoner; 
now, ::Nero is abhorrcù as the wicked tyrant, and St. Paul 
honored by all 111en as the saint and hero. But this is not 
enough. In heaven the honor of the saints ,viII be magnifi- 
cent. God hiInself will honor them. This is one reason for 
the last judglnent, that God may publicly give honor to the 
good. "1Vho8oever 81
all glOl'ify me, lti'lJL will I ylorify," 
says the Ahnighty ; * and they who are saved will be admitted 
to heaven ,vith respect and solemnity, as those ,vhom the 
King delights to honor. This is represented to us in the 
description of the last judgment: "Then shall lIe turn to 

heln on the right hand and say: 'Colne, ye blessed of my 
Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the 
foundation of the ,vorld.'" See how He praises them. See 
how lIe honors theln and makes kings out of theln. They 
are astonisheù: it seems too much. They know nut how 
they have deserved it. But lIe insists upon it as thcir right. 
lIe repeats the good actions they have done. '
I was 
hungry and ye gave me meat, I was thirsty and ye gave me 
to drink. I ,vas naked and yo clothed me." Do you hear 
tbis, my brethrcn 
 So ,viII it be "dth you when you stand 
Defore o-od to be judged. lIe will hold in His hand a beau- 
tiful diadem of gold, and he will say: "This is for thee." 
j\.nd thou shalt be alnazed and shalt say: " No, Lord, this 
is TiOt for me. I am nothing but a laboring man. I am but 
a poor boy. I am only a servant-girl. I am not the child 
of the rich and great. No one ever made way for me in tbe 
street, or rose up when I came into their company." But 
Christ shall say: " Nay! a prince thou art, for thou hast 
done the deeds of a prince." Then He ,vill begin to Inen- 
tion thCll1 one by one-your kindness to your 01<1 mother and 
father-your humble confession tbat it was so difficult to make, 
and which you made 
o ,veIl-the tinle you overcalne that 


* 1 Ri. ii. 30. 



260 


HEAVEN. 


great temptation, and res01 ved, once for all, to be virtnous- 
tIle occasion of sin JOu renounced-:-tIle prayers yob said in 
hUlnility and sincerity-the sacrifices you made for your 
faith-the true faith you kept \\itlt your husband or ,vife- 
the patience you practised in pain or vexation. Then lIe 
will sho,y you Jour throne in heaven, so bright you 'v ill 
think it an apostle's, or the Blessed Virgin }'Iary's, or that it 
belongs to God hiIl1self; and then the tears of joy and sur- 
prise ,yill drop from your eyes, and your heart will be nigh 
bursting ,vith confusion; but lIe ,vill snlÎle upon you, and 
take you by the hand, and say: "Yes, thou hast been faith- 
ful over a few things, I \vill n1ake thee ruler over lnany 
things." Then lIe ,vill give thee a certain jurisdiction, a 
certain po\ver of intercession; make thee an assessor in His 
high court of heaven, and lnake thee to sit on a throne \\Tith 
lIim, judging tbe t\velve tribes of Israel. And others shall 
honor thee. The saints shall honor thee. The Blessed Vir- 
gin shall honor thee. Now thou honorest her, so nluch at a 
,J1istance fron1 thee, and callest her Lady; but then it shall 
be as it ,vas ,vhen St. John and the Blessed Virgin d \volt 
together in one h0111e. Thou shalt still honor her as the 

lother of Jesus, and she shall honor thee as His disciple. 
81. Peter and St. John and St. J alnes and St. Andrew shaH 
honor thee. N O\V thou 111akest thy litanies to theln; but then 
it \vill be as it "as \Vhell Peter and Thonlas and N atbanael 
and the sons of Zebedee were together, and Jesus came in 
the 111idst and dined with theIne The saints shall be one 
family,vith thee. They ,vill ,valk \vith thee, and sit \vith 
thee, and call thee by name, and tell thee the secrets of 
Paradise. And the angels shall honor thee. N O\V thou ad. 
dressest thy angel guardian on bended knee; but then he \vil1 
say to thee: "See thou do it not; I aln thy fello,v-servant, 
and of thy brethren, who have the testilnony of J esns." 
And the Church on earth shan praise thee. As long as tilue 
shall last, she shall Jnake Inelltion of thee as one of those ,vho 


... 



ilEA VEN. 


261 


rejoice with Christ in Iris glorious kingdom, and, clothed 
in ,yhite, folIo,\'" the Lanlb ,vhithersoever lIe gocth. Yes, 
and the w'icked and the devils shaH honor thee. N o'v they 
nlay" affect to despibe you-no'v they Inay ]1cr8ccute you 
and trouble J"ou; but then they w'ill be forced to do you 
honor, and, groaning ,vi thin themscl \
e5 for anguish of spirit, 
aud alnazed at the sndùenness of your unexpected salvation, 
shall say: ,
 Tlwse are they 
o/
oln we had sOlnetime in de1''Z.sion, 
and fOl' a parable if rejJ/'oacA. lre fools estee'ìï"tcd tlleir life 
madness and tlwil. end witltout Itonor. Beltold IlOW they are 
numòered alnong tlte clâld/'en of God, and tlwil' lot is alnong 
tlte saints." 
\. 
SUCh, lllY brethren, are the joys of heaven, or, rather, such is 
the faintest and poorest idea of the joys of heaven. :Men seck 
for ,vealth as the Incans of defending themscl,es fronl the iUs 
of life, but Othere is perfect rest only in heavcll. l,Ien seek 
for pleasure, but earthly joys are short aud unsatisfactory; 
the pleasures at God's right hand are for ever sure. :ThIen 
seek for honop, but the real honor comes froill God alone. 
And these are within the reach of each one 
f you. 'Vhen 
Father Tholnas of Jesus, ,vas dying in captiyity, his friends 
came around his bedside, al!d expressed their regret that he 
should die, away from his home, and their hope that the 
King of Spain would even yet ransom hÜn; but the holy 
man replied: "I have a bettcr country than Spain, and the 
ransom has long been paid. That country is heaven, that 
ransom is the blood of Christ." The Holy Church says: 
"'Then thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou 
didst open the lángdom of heaven to all believcrs." Y cs , 
by the blood of Christ, by the sacrament of baptisn1, the 
gates of heaven are opened before us. The path is straight 
and plain. If by sin we have strayed from it, l)y penance 
we have been recalled to it, and now there is nothing to do 


* Wisd. v. 3, 4, 5. 



262 


HEAVEN. 


but to advance and persevere, and heaven is ours. Will yo;'! 
draw back, Christian 
 Will you, by mortal sin, thro-waw.ay 
that immortal crown 
 No drunkard or adulterer, nothing 
that is defiled, can enter there. There is only one road that 
leads to heaven-the road of Christian obedience. ,ViII you 
renounce your birthright 
 "'ViII you, by sin, take the course 
. that leads you away from your beavenly home? " Oh!" I 
hear you say, "I will choose heaven." But, remember, 
heaven is to be won. "Heaven," says St. Philip N eri, " is 
not for the slothful and cowardly." Strive then, henceforth, 
for the rewards that are at God's right hand. StIi ve to 
attain abundant merits for eternity. Remember that he that 
soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly, and he that soweth 
plentifully shall reap plentifulIy. God is not unmindful of 
your works and labor that proceedeth from love.. Things so 
small as not to be taken notice of, things that happen every 
day, add a new glory to our mansions in heaven. With this 
aim, then, let us henceforth work. "Ob, happy I," says St. 
Augustine, " and thrice happy, if, after the dissolution of tbe 
body, I shall merit to hear the songs that are sung in praise 
of the Eternal King, by the inhabitants of the celestial 
city!" Happy I, if I myself shall merit to sing those 
strains, and to stand before my Lord and King, and to see 
Him in Iris glory, as he promised! "lIe that loveth me 
shaH be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will 
lnanifest myself to him." "Ho,v amiable are thy taber- 
nacles, Thou Lord of I-Iosts! 1tly soul hath a desire and 
a longing to enter into the courts of the Lord." Grant me 
this, 0 Lord. Give and withold what Thou wilt. I do not 
ask length of days. I do not ask for earthly honor and pros- 
perity. I do not ask to be free from care, or labor, or suffer- 
ing. But this I do ask, 0 Lord: when this life is over, shut 
not up my soul in hell, but let me look on Thy face in the 
land of the living. Make me so to pass through thing8 
temporal that I lose not the t
ngs eternal. Hail,IIeavenly 



DUTY OF GROWING IN CHRISTIAN K1\OWLEDGE. 263 


Queen! our 1ife, our sweetness, and our hope! to Thee do 
we cry, poor, exiled children of Eve. Ob, then, from Thy 
throne in heaven, lift upon us, v;ho are struggling in this 
,,,-orld, those merciful eyes of Thine! and ",.hen this our 
c'\:ile is over, show us the blessed fruit of Thy womb, 
JESUS I 


KOTE.-This was the last Sunday-Sermon which F. Baker preached, two 
weeks before he was seized with bis last illness. 


. 


SERl\IO
 v. 


THE DUTY OF G ROWING I
 CHRISTIAN K...'\OWLEDGE. 


(FIEST SU
DAY L'i ADVE
T.) 


U The first man knew not wisdom perfectly, no more shall the last find hcr 
out. For her thoughts are vaster than the sea, and her counsels deeper than tho 
great ocean."-EcCLES. XXIV. 38, 39. 


I TH:rnK "We Catholics, when we lay claim to the possession 
of the whole truth-the entire revelation imparted to the 
world from Christ through the apostles-sometimes forget how 
small a share of that truth each one of us possesses in par- 
ticular. It is the Church that the Holy Ghost leads into all 
truth, not individuals. Each Catholic, who is sufficiently in- 
structed, knows some truth; he knows what is necessary to eal- 
vation; but there are many things which he is totally ignorant 
of, many things concerning which his conceptions are inade- 
quate or distorted. Now if this be so, it cannot but be useful to 
remember it, and I wiU, therefore, this morning, show you ho,v 
it must be so, and some of the consequences which flo,v from it. 
Each one's knuwledge of truth must be more or less partial 
and incomplete, because it varies with each one's capacity for 
receiving truth. When God gave man reason, He confelTed 



264 DUTY OF GROWING IN CHIUSTIAN KNOWLEDGE. 


011 him the faculty of receiving truth; but the degree in 
which this or that man IS capable of receiving 
ruth, depends 
upon the strength and cultivation of his particular reason. 
The eye is the organ of sight, but one man's eye is stronger 
and truer than another's. Slight variations of color or fonn, 
"Wholly indistinguishable by one man, are detected in a mo- 
ment by anotter. So, one man's reason is stronger than 
another's. What makes the difference, is, of course, in part 
the diversity in natural endowments, but it is not altogether 
due to this cause; it is due in great measure also to cultiva- 
tion. 1\loral dispositions, too, have a great deal to do with it; 
and in the case of Christian truth, the grace of God also 
exerts a special influence. The degrees in which these various 
elements are found in particular cases, are so different, that 
there is an almost infinite gradation in the Ineasure in which 
men are capable of receiving truth. No two men can re- 
ceive it in exactly the same degree. In all this congregation, 
where we recite the saIne Creed and use the same prayers, 
there are, perhaps, no two of us ,,,ho mean by them precisely 
the same thing. The intelligence of each one, his past his- 
tory, his moral dispositions, will determine how far the faith 
that is in him corresponds to the faith that is ,vithout him- 
the faith as it is in itsel
 the object of faith as it is in God. 
T can make what I mean plain to you by an illustration. 
Let us suppose a beautiful picture of the crucifixion, for 
instance, put up in a public gallery. . :ThIen of every kind enter 
and pass before it. There comes a man who has never heard 
of Ohrist; he is ignorant and uneducated. lIe looks up and 
. sees the representation of extremest human agony, mingled 
.with superhuman dignity and patience. SOlne ray enters his 
lnind; he pauses, is startled then passes on. N O'\V there 
comes another, ,vho is an anatomist, and. he is aITested by 
the skill with ,vhich the body is proportioned, and the play 
of the muscles and nerves is exhibited. Every line is a study 
to him, and he stops a good deal longer than the first. Then 



DUTY OF GRO'VI.NG I
 CHRISTIA
 KKOWLEDGE. 265 


there comes an artist, and he sees in the picture something 
greater even. lIe take3 in the genius of the conception, th 0 
fitne
s of attitude and eÀ'})ression, tho light and shade, the 
tints of color, the difficultie;:, overCOInc hy art; and he comes 
and sits before it, day after day, for hours, ab::;orbed in the 
study of its beauties. .And another COlnes ,-rho is a poet, and 
to him it brings back t.he scene of Calvary. In a lllomcnt he 
is fal" a,va:Y', and the sun is darkened, anù tho earth quake
, 
and there are thunderings and lightnings, and once more the 
Holy City pours forth its multitude to ,vitness the death of 
Jesus. And then there COlnes a sinner. Ah! that story of 
love and suffering! which tolls how God so loved the world, 
and gave hi;:; only-begotten Son, that all who believe in IIim 
should not perish, but havo everlasting life. To hin1, that 
picture speaks of the horrors of sin, of mercy, of heaven and 
hell, and thoughts are awakened õy it which lead him back 
to God. There hangs the picture, unaltered. It is just what 
the arti
t 111ade it, neither more nor lesp-, yet see how different 
it has been to different beholders. 
N ow, just bO it is with the preaching of the truth. As 'We 
recite the Creed, as ,ve preach to you, Sunday after Sunday, 
the Creed itself is indeed unchangeable, but it is a different 
thing to each one of us ,vho preach, and to each one of you 
"rho hear, according to your intelligence, your past history, 
and your pre16ent dispositions. How can it be otherwise 
 
Does not the very ,vord, God, mean something different to us 
from what it does to a saint 
 Do not the words Presence of 
God, mean sOlnething different to you and me from what they 
did to St. Teresa, to whom the soul of man appeared as a castle 
with seven chambers, each one more sacred than the others, as 
you advanced into the interior, until the innermost shrine was 
reached, where God and the soul were joined together in a 
]uanner which human language knows not bo,," to utter 
 Do 
you not see that the doctrine of the Incarnation is something 
very different to us from what it was to S
. A thanasius, wbo 
12 



266 DUTY OF GROWIKG IN CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. 


spent his ,vhole life in conflict for it, w.ho endured years of 
exile and calumny, th
 estrangement of friends, the suspicion 
even of good men, rather than falter the least in fidelity to 
that verity on which his soul had fed 
 Or the Real Prep- 
ence-is that not a different thing to the cro,vd ,'" ho come to 
church and kneel from custom, but hardly remember ,vhy, 
frOlTI what it was to St. Thomas, who composed in honor of 
it the wonderful hymns Pange Lingua and Lauda SiOl1, or to 
St. Francis Xavier, who spent nights in prayer, prostrate upon 
the plat.form of the altar 
 Why, St. Thomas, who has so ,vrit- 
ten of the Christian faith that the Church has named him 
the angelical doctor, threw down his pen in hopelessness of 
being able to cxpre
ss the high knowledge of divine things 
.which filled his soul. And St. Paul confesses, in ,vriting to 
the Hebrews, that even in that primitive community, taught 
by apostles and living in a perpetual call to martyrdom, 
there were some points of Christian truth which he found 
himself unable to utter, "because JOu are become weak to 
hear."7':' . 
I kno\v that you are Catholics, that you have the Apostles' 
Creed by heart, .that you believe in one God in Three Per- 
sons, in the Incarnation and Death of the Second Person of 
the Blessed Trinity, and in the t,,
o eternities before us; but 
neither you nor I know ,vhat all this implies. Our kno.w1- 
edge is very imperfect: we are but babes in Christ, Jisping 
and stammering the Divine àlphabet-children, wetting our 
feet in the waves ,vhirh dash on the shore of tbe boundless 
ocean of truth. 
It is good for us, as I have already said, to remen1ber 
this, for it gives us at once the true method of forming an 
estimate of Christianity. A tree is known by its fruit, but 
it is by its best fruit. If you have a tree in your garden 
bearing only a small quantity of very delicious fruit, you 


* Beb. v. 11. 



DUTY OF GROWIXG IN CHRISTIAN KKOWLEDGE. 267 


prize it high1y and take great care of it, though lllany of the 
bl08s0111s fall off, and a great dea1 of the fruit never ripens. 
So you must judge of the Catholic Church, by its best and 
most perfect fruit, that is, by the n1en of great ,yisdolll and 
great virtue ,vhon1 it produces, and not by its imperfect 
members. Who is lij\:ely to be the best exponent and the 
truest specimen of his religion, a man of prayer and study, 
deeply versed in the IIoly Scriptures and sacred learning, 
or one of sl11a11 capacity, little learning, and little prayer 
 
Evidently, the former; and J
et how often do 111en take the 
contrary way of judging of the teaching and spirit of the 
Church. They visit SOllIe Catholic country, they see some 
instance of popular error, ignorance, or disorder, and they 
say: "This is Catholicity." Or, at home, they see or hear a 
Catholic do or say s01l1ething which gives thern offence, anJ 
they exclailll: "That is your doctrine!" "That is your reli- 
gion 1" Now, supposing the offence they take to be justly 
taken, which is not always the case, ,vhat does it prove? It 
may prove that the rulers of the Ohurch ha,e not done their 
duty; but it may prove just the contrary, that they have 
done their duty-that in spite of the obstacles of ignorancQ 
and rudeness, they have succeeded in imparting to some 
darkened souls enough knowledge to lead thmn to God, 
though it be the very least that is sufficient for that purpose. 
But it does not show ,,-hat the doctrine of the Church really 
is as intelligently understood. To find out this, you HUlst 
look at men who are in the 11l0st favorable circumstances for 
understanding it, and they are the saints of God: St. Basi1, 
St. Augustine, St. Francis of Sales, St. Teresa. St. Vincent 
of Paul. 
o my brethren! ho,v can men turn a,vay from Catholicity? 
I 'understand how they can turn away from it as you and I 
express it; how ,ve can fail to remove their difficulties, or 
even put new' perplexity in their "Tay. But ho"r can they 
turn away from Catholicity as it is expressed b
r the great 



268 DUTY OF GROWING IN CHRISTIAN KNOW]
EDGE. 


saints of the Church 
 What a divine religion! 'Vhat 
majesty, ,vhat sweetness, ,vhat wisdom, ,vhat pu\yer! How 
it commands the homage of the world! ,Vhat a universal 
testimony it bas in its favor, after aU! Do you knovr, my 
brethren, I believe lllen are far Inore in favor of Catho1icity 
than we suspect. I believe half the difficulties they find in 
our religion are not in our religion at all, but in us; in our 
ignorance, in our prejudices, in our short-sightedness and 
narrow-heartedness. What renders the world ,vithout excuse 
is the line of saints, the true ,vitnesses to the genius and 
6pirit of the Catholic religion. And yet, even the saints 
thelllselves are not the perfect exponents of the faith, 
for even the saints were not altogether free fronl ignorance 
and error. To understand fully the nobleness of the Chris- 
tian faith, we should need the help of inspiration itself. Did 
it never occur to you, my brethren, that the eÀ])ressions of 
the prophets and apostles in reference to the light and grace 
brought by Jesus Christ into the world, were extravagant 
 
"BeAold, I will lay tAy stones in orde')1, and will lay tAy 
foundaÜ."ons witl
 S(lj)1)1
Í11c8, and I will 'lnake tlty bulwarks 
of jaspel": and tAy gates of graven stones, and all thy borde'l's 
if desirable stones. All tlty children shall be taugltt of tlw 
Lord: and great sl
all be tlw peace of thy childl'en." "Tl
ou 
shalt no ?nore l
ave tlw sun for tAy ligld by day, neitlleT 
shall the briglltncss of tAe moon enliglden tllee: but tl
e 
Lord shall be unto tÍl,ee for an everlasting ligld, and thy 
God fO')1 thy glory." ':f 
Does the Catho1ic Church, as you understand it, COllle up 
to these descriptions 
 Is Catholic truth, as you appropriate 
it, so high and glorious a thing as this 
 No! And the rea- 
son is, that you are straitened in yourselves. Your concep- 
tions are so low, your kno,vledge of the truth i
 so partial 
and limited
 that you do not recognize the description when 



 
* Isaiab liVe 11-13; Ix. 19. 



. 


DUTY OF GRO'VIKG IN CllRISTIAN KKOWLEDGE. 269 


the Holy Ghost presents that truth as it is in itsel
 as it is 
seen and kno,vn by God. 
This thought leads us naturally to another; namely, that it 
is the duty of each one of us to extend his kno"dedge of 
Christian truth as far as possible. There is a story told of a 
foreign gentleman visiting Rome, ","ho ,vent one day to St. 
Peter's Church, and, after entering the vestibule, admired its 
noble proportions, and returned hOlne fully satisfied that he 
had seen the church itself, "yhich he had not even entered. 
So it is with many persons who never pa
s beyonù the vestibule 
ofOLristian knowledge. They never enter the inner tenlple, or 
catch even a glimpse of its vast heights and its dim distances, 
its receding aisles, its intricate archings, it.., glory, its rich- 
ness, and its mystery. 0 misery of ignorance! which has 
ever been the heaviest curse of our race. 0 
Iorning Star, 
harbinger of eternal truth, and Sun of Justice, "yhen 'wilt thou 
come to enlighten those that sit in darkness and in the 
shado,v of death! Alas! this is our grief, that the true 
Light is COBle into the ,vorld, but our eyes are holden that 
""0 cannot see it. Truths, the thought of ,vhich rapt the 
apostles into ecstasy, truths which the angels desire to look 
into, are published in our hearing, and awaken no aspiration, 
no stirring in our heart::;. We go a,vay, to eat and drink, 
and work, and plaJ". 0 brethren! burst for yourselves 
these bonds of ignorance. Do not sa
y, I am not learned, I 
anl not acute or profound, I cannot hope to understand much. 
Relnember that there "yere some servants to 'VhOl1l one 
talent ,vas given, ,vLo ,vere called to account as ,veIl as th038 
,vho had ten. Do \\yhat you can. .A. pure heart, a blall1eless 
life, and prayer, are great enlighteners. Read, listen, medi- 
tate, obey. Ask of God to enlarge your knoydedge, and to 
teach you what it means to say you believe in Irinl. Ask of 
Jesus Christ to teach you 'what it Illeans to say that lIe was 
made Ulan and died for us on the cross; what it is to receive 
His body and blood; what is the meaning of heaven and hpll. 



270 DUTY OF GRO'VING !
 CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. 


A,vake thou that sleepest, and Christ shall giye thee light! 
ne ,vill ma1\:e you understand 1110re and l110re ,vhat it is to 
be a Christian. Often have I seen the fulfihnent of this 
prolnise. I have been at the bedside of poor people, who 
,vould be called rude and illiterate, but to ,vhose pure hearts 
and earnest prayers God had imparted so clear a kno,vledge 
of the faith, that I have felt in their humble rooms like 
J aco b 'v hen he a ,yoke froI11 sleep and said: "Indeed the 
Lord is in this place." 
f 
1.Ien are talking about a Chm"ch of the future. They say 
the old Church is decrepid, her theology is obsolete, she 
stin1ulates thougbt no l11ore. But ,ve know better. The 
Church of the future is the Church of the past. That 
Church is ever ancient and ever new. IIer truth is not 
exhausted. J\Ien know not the half nor the hundredth part of 
her hidden wisdom. 0 the victory! whep. men shall under- 
stand this-,yhen they shall come confessing to the IIoly 
Church, as the Queen of Saba did to Solomon: "Tlw relJort 
is tplte, 
DlticliJ I lward in ?ny own country, concerning tlt,y 
words and concerning tAy wisdoTn. And I did not believe 
tlwrn tll-at told ?ne, till I came 'Jnyself and sa'w witA 'Iny own 
eyes, and have found that tlie liJalf natlL not been told ?ne j 
tll-Y 'wisdom and thy 
()orks exceed the farne wlLich Ilward. 
Blessed are tlty rnen, and òlessed are tllY servants who 
stand óefore thee always, and hear thy w.isdo1n."t 
Yes! the history of the Church is not accoI11plished, her 
triu1l1phs arc not 
ret all ,vritten. Why does she, Advent 
after Advent, puLl ish again the glowing predictions of the 
evangelical prophet, but because she kno,vs that they aw"ait 
a still more magnificent fu1filment 
 Take courage-the 
cloud that rests 011 the people shall be lifted off, and the bur- 
den taken away. The Ancient Church" shaH no more be 
called forsaken, nor her land desolate.":!: "Al'ise, be enligAt. 


* Gen. xxviii. 16. 


tIll. Ki:x. 6-8. 


t Is. !xii. 4. 



., 


THE 
I18SION OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST. 271 


ened, 0 JCl'usale?n: fop tllY light is come, and the gZoPy if 
the LOl'd iS1'isen 
pon tfwe. And tlw Gentiles shall walk in 
thy ligfd, and kings in tlw brightness if thy ?'l
8ing. Then 
sllalt tholt see and abound, and thy Iwa]'t shall u
onder and be 
enlal'gecl. And the cltildren if them that ajflict t/i,ee o shall 
('07ne bo
()ing down to thee, and all tltat slandered thee sltall 
w01'sltip the steps of tllyfeet, and shall call thee the city of tlte 
Lord, the Sion of the Holy One of Israel."* 


. 


SERlIO:N VI. 


THE MISSIOX OF ST. JOlL.
 TIlE BAPTIST. 


(RECOND SUXDAY IN ADYEXT.) 


'
 This is be of whom it is written: Behold I send My messenger before Thy 
face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee."-Sr. 
rATT. XI. 10. 


TIIE Scriptures of the Old Testalnent had foretold that a 
special messenger shoulù irnmediately precede the coming of 
the .l\Iessias, ,vhose duty ,vould be to prepare lnen's hearts 
for His reception. N O'V, our Lord in. the text tells us that 
St. John the Baptist was this messenger. It is for this 
reason that the Gospels read in the 011 urch for the season of 
Advent are so full of the sayings and doings of this saint. In 
Advent the Church desires to prepare us for the tw'ofold 
coming of Christ-at His Nativity and at the Last J udg- 
ment; and it is natural that she should avail herself of the 
labors of one who was divinely appointed for the saIne pur- 
pose. Accordingly, froln Sunday to Sunday, during this 
season, she bring
 St. John the Baptist from his cell in the 
desert, clad in his rough gal'ment, to preach to us Christians 


* Isai. Ix. 1-14. 



272 THE MISSION OF ST. JOH
 THE BAPTIST. 


the same lessons he preached to the Jewish people centuries 
ago. It has seemed to ITIe, then, that I could not better sub- 
serve the intentions of thè Church, than by considering this 
morning in what the mission of St. John the Baptist as a 
preparation for Christ's coming specially consisted, and what 
practical lessons it suggests to us. 
St. J qhn the Baptist was of the priestly race, yet he never 
exercised the office of a priest. He was not a prophet, at 
least in the sense of one who foretells future events. He 
worked no miracles. He bad no ecclesiastical position. 
What was he then 
 "\Vhat ,vas his office 
 How did he pre- 
pare men for the coming of Christ? The Scriptures tell us 
,vhat he was. He ",vas a "Voice" and a "Ory"-the cry of 
conscience, the voice of man's immortal destiny. His mission 
,vas simple, elementary, and universal. It went deeper than 
ecclesiastical or ritual duties. It touched human probation 
to the very quick. He dealt with the great question of sal- 
vation, protested vehemently against sin, and published aloud 
that law of sanctity which is ,vritten on every man's heart by 
the finger of God. 
We have some remains of his sermons, from which we can 
learn his style. "Begin not to say," so he speaks to the J e\,s, 
"we Itave Abl'aham tó 0 Ul' fatltel', .t01' God is able to raise 
'Up of these stones children to Abraham." * See, how he 
s\veeps a\vay external privileges, and goes straight to every 
man's conscience. "The axe is laid now to tlw root of tlte 
trees, and evel'Y Ü 1 ee t!tat b1 1 inget!t not fortlt good fruit s!tall 
be cut down and cast into the fire." Nothing but ,vhat is in- 
ternal, nothing but what is sound at the core, can bear the 
scrutiny. He descends to the particulars of e,ach ITIan'S state 
and condition of life. The people came to him and asked 
him, "What shall ,ve do
" And he said: "He that ltath 
two coats, let Aim impart to hÍ1n tflat Ilatl
 none,. and lte that 


* St. Luke iii. 8. 



THE MISSIO
 OF ST. JOH
 THE BAPTIST. 273 


hath rneat let ltin
 do llh'e1.cl8e." That was a short and pithy 
senTIon! Then the officers of the custon1 caD1e and asked: 
" What 8hall we do 
 " .And he answered: ., Take notlling 
more titan tlLat wAlch 1.8 aplJoi'nted you." Do not rob or 
swindle. Do not use qribery or extortion. .And the ::5oldiers 
asked hhn, saying: "..L\.nd ,vhat shall we do
" .And he 
saiù: "Do violence to no 'll2an: neither calumniate any 
1nan,. and be content 'lcitli1 you/' pay." 
Such was the l)reachiug of St. John the Baptist, pointed, 
direct, hon1ely, practical: an .echo of that trnmpet-blast "Thich 
once shook the earth, ",-hen God gave the Ten Con1n1and- 
monts out of the Mount. And it did its work. Our Lord 
hiInself has testified to the success of St. J ohn'8 lllission. It 
prepared men to believe in Chri::;t. It ,vas the school ,yhich 
trained disciples for Christianity. They that believed in St. 
John belieyed after\vards in Christ. On one occasion the 
evangelist gives it as the explanation why some believed and 
some rejected the words of Jesus, that they had first believed 
or rejected the words of the Baptist. "
1ll tIle people," 
such is the language I refer to, "j uSb.Jied God, being bap- 
tized with, tlte bapti81n if John, but tlw PlLal'lsees and the 
la'wyers de8pised tlte counsel qf God against tnernselt'e8, being 
not bOjJtized of ltÍ1n."-;
 
K or is it difficult to explain how his preaching effected this 
result. Chri
t came to save sinners. In point of fact, ,ve 
kno,y that this is the reason why lIe has come into the ,,"orld. 
lIe has come to seek and sa\"e that ,,"hich was lost. 
lIe has come to heal the broken-hearted. He has 
C0111e to giye us a new law, higher and holier than the 
old, yet easier by the brightness of IIis exan1ple, and the 
graces He imparts. K 0''"', unless a man feel:; the evil of sin, 
unless he wants to keep the law, unless he feels an interest, 
and a deep interest, in the questioIT of his destiny, he does not 


* St. Luke vii. 29, 30. 



274 TlIE MISSION OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST. 


care for Christ. True, our Lord has given to the understand- 
ing proofs of His divine mission, so that belief in IIim nlay 
be a reasonable act; but until the conscience is stirred up, 
the understanding has no motive for considering these proofs. · 
To the carnal and careless Jews, the announcement of Christ's 
coming was, I suppose, sÍ1nply uninteresting. In some points 
of vie,v, indeed, they might have welcomed IIim. As a tem- 
poral prince and deliverer, His advent ,vould have been 
hailed by them, but salvation fronl sin was a Inatter in which 
they felt no great concern. What did they want ,vith 
Christ 
 'Vhy does lIe conle at all to consciences which do 
not cravè rest, and ,vilIs that need no strength 
 What need 
of a Saviour, if there is 
o sin to be shunned, no hell to be 
feared, no heaven to be won, no great struggle between good 
and evil, no eternity in peril 
 
But once let all this be fully understood. Let a nlan's 
conscience be fully awakened. Let hÍ1n realize his destiny, 
above and beyond this ,vorld; let him appreciate the evil of 
sin that defeats his destiny; let him, if the case be so, perceive 
ho,v far out of the ,yay he has gone by his sins; and then how 
full of interest, how full of meaning, becomes the exclamation 
of St. J ohu, as he points to Christ and says: "Be/
old. the 
La1no of God, tl
at tctketA ctway the sins of tlw world!" 
Let a man's spiritual nature be stirred within him; let hinl 
aspire to what is pure and high; aim at regulating his pas- 
sions; struggle, alnid inordinate desires and the importuni- 
ties of creatures which encompass him like a flood, toward 
the highest good and the most perfect beauty; and, oh! with 
,vhat music do these ,vords of Christ fall on his soul: "Come 
unto ]JIe, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and] will 
r}'efre8/
 YO'll. Take 1ny yoke 'lpon Y01l a.nd leal'n of .1.1fe, and 
Y01l shall find 'pest to your S01tlS. 1!òr JIy yoke is sweet, 
o 
d lJ1y lntrden is ligld." * It seems too good to be true. 


* St. Matt. xi 29, 30. 



.Þ 


THE :MISSION OF ST. JOHN THE llAPTIs'r. 275 


He listens, and asks, "
Iay I believe this
" "Is there really 
a ,yay through this ,vorlù to heaven? a sure, clear, easy 
way 
" lie finds that his understanding not only allows, but 
compels hÜn to believe in Christ: he is happy; he belieyes ; 
his faith is a conviction into \vhich his ,vholc nature enters; 
it entwines itself w-ith every fibre of his soul. 
The connection, then, between the preaching of the naptist 
and the coming of Christ was not a telnporary one. It is 
essential anù necessary. St. John is still the forerunner of 
Christ. The preaching of the con1nlandlnents is ever the 
preparation for faith. The a,\vakening of a n1an's conscience 
is the measure of his appreciation of Christ. Our Lord 
gives many graces to men 'without their own co-operation. 
Many of the gifts of Providence, and the first gifts in the 
order of grace, are so besto'wed. nut an enlightened appre- 
ciation of Christianity, a perbonal conviction of its trutll, a 
real and deep attachnlent to it, will be always in proportion 
to the thoroughness with which a man has sounded the 
depths of his own heart, to the sincerity with which sin 
is hated and feared, and holiness aspired after. Christ is 
never firmly seatedÏÍ1 the soul of n1an till he is enthroned 
on the conscience. "Unto yon tl
at fear JJI y na1}
e, 8hall 
the Sun if Justice Clpi8e, and health in hÙ
 wings." -r.. 
.A.nd, here, my brethren, in this law or fact which I 
stated, 'We have the key to several practical questions of 
great iU1portance. 
Here we haye, in great part at least, an explanation why 
conversions to the Catholic Church are not more frequent 
than they are. Surely the Catholic Church is prominent 
'enough in tho eyes of Inen. From her church towers sho 
cries aloud. In the streets, at the opening of her, gates, 
she utters her word, saying: "0 children if 'rnen, how long 
will YO'Ll love folly, and the 
tnwise hate kno
oledge? T
l1"n 


* St. Matt. iv. 2. 



276 THE MISSION OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST. 


ye at 'lny repl'oof." Her antiquity, her unity, her universality, 
the sanctity of so many of her children, are enough to arrest 
the attention of every thoughtful Inan. But ho\v few heed 
her voice! True, here and the1:e, there are souls "Tho recog- 
nise in her the true teacher sent by Christ, the guide of their 
souls, and subulit themselves to her safe and holy keeping. 
Altogether, they make a goodly company; but ho\v small in 
proportion to those who are left behind! It reminds. us of 
the ,yords of the prophet: "I will take one of a city, and 
tu'o of a fa'Jnily and bring Y01t into Sion." 
f They come 
by ones and twos, and the mass remains behind. And what 
does that mass think of the Catholic Church? Some are 
entirely ignorant of her, almost as though she did not exist. 
Some have wrong ideas about her, and hate her. Sonle know 
a good deal about her doctrines, and are conversant with the 
proofs of them, and argue about then1, and criticise them. 
Some are favorably inclined to her. Some patronise her. It 
,vas just so ,vith Christ. To some lIe ,vas simply unknown, 
though He was in their midst. To some He was an impostor 
and a blasphemer. To many lie ,vas an occasion of dispute, 
some affirming Him to be a "good man," others saying, 
"Nay, IIe deceiveth the people." To some He was an inno- 
vator on the established religion, the religion of the respecta- 
ble and educated. To others, His mysteries ,vere an offence, 
and the severity of His doctrine a stumbling-block. Why is 
this? Why is it always thus 
 'Vhy are men so slow to be 
,vise, and to be happy 
 I do not ,vish, my brethren, to give 
too sweeping an answer. I know there is such a thing as 
inculpable ignorance. I believe there are many on their way 
to the Church who are not suspected of it, and who, perhaps, 
do not suspect it themselves. I know that God has IIis 
seasons of grace and providence. I know that each human 
mind is different fronl eyery other, and has its own law of 


* Ser. iii. 14. 


. 



THE MISSIOS OF ST. JOHN THE DAPTIST. 277 


working, its own w'ay of arriving at conviction. But after 
all such deductions, are there not very many of ".,.hom it is a 
plain matter of fact to say that they 'will not give their 
attention to this subject? They may even have conscious 
doubts on their minds, and Ii ve and die with these unattended 
to, unresolved. It is a want of religious earnestness. 1tlen 
do not ask: "'That shall I do to be saved 
" Or at least, 
they do not give to that question their supreme attention. 
They do not grapple with their destiny. They are indifferent 
to it, or hopeless about its solution. They let then1selves 
float on, leaving the questions of the future to decide them- 
sel ves as they may, and live in the pleasures and interests of 
the present. 
Ob, fatal supineness! unw'orthy a rational being, defeating 
the end of our creation, and entailing countless miseries here 
and hereafter. N otbing can be hoped for frolll the 'world, till 
it awakes from its lethargy of indifference. ltlen must be 
men before you can make them Christians-serious, thought- 
ful earnest men, before you have any reason for expecting 
them to become Catholics. There is more hope of a con- 
scientious bigot, than for a man indifferent to his salvation. 
He, at least, is in earnest. If his mind should become en- 
lightened, if he should recognise the Catholic Church as the 
divinely-appointed guide to that heaven which he is seeking, 
there is reason to hope that he will a vail himself of her 
blessings. lIe ,viII not make frivolous objections; he will 
not stumble at the Sacrament of Confession, or catch at every 
scandalous story of immorality on the part of a Catholic, or 
quarrel with every minute ritual arrangement; but in a bet- 
ter, higher, nobler spirit, in that spirit of obedience which so 
well becomes a man, in that spirit of faith, in which man's 
reason asserts most clearly its high character, by uniting 
itself to and embracing the Reason of God, ,vhen he finds 
that the Church is the guide to his immortal destiny, he 
"'lcill come bend'ing to heT, an(l w17l worship the steps of her 



278 THE MISSION OJ!' ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST. 


feet, and will call l
eJ' the Oityof the Lord, the Sion of the 
IIoly One of Israel." 
And now, to turn our eyes within the Church, we can in 
the same way account for those dreadful apostasies from the 
Catholic faith which are here and there recorded in history. 
Mahonletanism, which in numbers is a rival to Catholicity, 
possesses some of the fairest lands once o,vned. by Christ. In 
modern times, one of the most refined and enlightened 
nations of Christendom, in a moment of frenzy, threw off 
the faith ,vith which her history had been so adorned, and 
professed Atheism. Now, how did these things happen 
 
Not of a sudden, or all at once. 1.fen are not changed from 
Cbristians into Turks or Infidels in an hour. There must 
have been some secret nloral history, which accounts for this 
wonderful change. And so there ,vas. Men became lax in 
their conduct. The Catholicity they practised was not the 
Catholicity of Christ and the Apostles. Public morals were 
conformed to the standard of heathenisnl rather than that 
of the gospel-nay, sometimes outraged as much the de- 
cencies of heathenism as the precepts of Christ. It was the 
old story. St. John the Baptist imprisoned by an adulterous 
king; St. John the Baptist, conspired against and murdered 
by an ambitious queen; the head of St. John the Baptist, 
eloquent and reproachful even in death, brought in to point 
the jest and stimulate the revelry of a lascivious feast-this 
is but a figure of the treatment ,vhich conscience has receiyed 
in Christian courts, and at the hands of Christian princes. 
]'forality and decency grew out of date, ani! ,vere cast aside 
like old-fashioned garments, and the restraints of the Law of 
God were as feeble as cob,vebs before the power of passion. 
N o'v, what else could be the result of all this, but a disesteenl 
of Christianity itself
 True, it might retain some hold upon 
men's minds for a time. The fact that it was the religion of 
their ancestors, the fact that they were baptized in it, tbe 
beauty of its ceremonies and architectm'e, the soothing influ.. 



THE MISSION OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST. 279 


ence of its ordinances, the services it has rendered to civilisa- 
tion, 111ight keep it standing in its place for a time; but these 
considerations are not strong enough to withstand tbe power 
of hell, ,vhen it is exerted in the way of !>ersecution, or a 
general apostasy. " Eixry plant that tny lIèarcnly Fathel
 
ItatlL not planted, shall be rooted 'Up," said Christ. * It must 
be H, supernatural motive that ùinds us to our faith. Christ 
and the Law' cannot long remain divorced. A people ,vithout 
conscience will soon be a people "without faith; and a nation 
of triflers only waits the occasion, to become a nation of 
apostates. 
It is not, then, ,vithout a special providence of God, that 
in these later daJ"s the missionary orders of the Church have 
been lIlultiplied. In the sixteenth century the illtellectu:..1 
defence of the fitÏth ,vas the Church's greatest need, and that 
was most successfully accomplished. But there is needed 
sOlllething lllorc to upholù the falling fabric of Inodern societJT. 
Men need to be reminded of the first principles of morality. 
And, therefore, a St. Alphonsus appears In Naples, a St. 
Vincent of Paul in France; missionary orders in every land 
go about teaching the people, before it is too late, the very 
first and fundamental truths-the doctrine of repentance and 
good works. Here, in every age, and" every country, is the 
real danger to faith. We speak often of the dangers to faith 
in this country; and unquestionably '\ve have our special 
trials here. Some of .our children are lost by neglect. SOlne 
grow cold in the unfriendly atmosphere that surrounds them. 
But the real danger to be dreaded is, that the love of the 
Church herself should grow cold; that a wide-spread de- 
moralisation should take place among oursel Yes; that we 
should forget the keeping of the Ten Commandments. This, 
indeed, ,vould be the prelude to our destruction. Practical 
morality makes a strong Church; but let morality be forgot- 


* St. Matt. xv. 13. 



280 THE MISSION OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST. 


ten, and the Church, ,vhile it }1as a nallle to live, is dead. 
And as a corpse long decomposed sometimes retains the human 
form until it is exposed to the air, when it crumbles into 
dust; so a dead Church will be blown to atoms and swept 
away, the first strong blast that hell breathes against it. 
And, in fine, by the light of the thought which I have been 
endeavoring to present to you this nlorning, we see the means 
by which we ought to make sure our personal union with 
Christ. Christ is coming. lIe is coming at Christmas to 
unite Himself ,vith those whonl He shall find prepared. He 
is cOIning again, and the mountains shall melt before IIim ; 
for He is coming to judge the ,vorld. "JVho sliall stancl to 
see Ilim? For He shall be as a Refining Fire, and shall try 
tlte Sons qf Levi as gold and silver." * How shall we abide 
His coming, my brethren I how shall we prepare to meet 
IIim? I know no other way than that which St. John the 
Baptist recommended to the J e,vs-a true and solid conver- 
sion. Whether a man has committed mortal sin or not, 
whether he is born a Catholic or not, there comes upon him, 
if he is a true Christian, some time in his life, a change ,vhich 
Catholic "Titers call conversion. It may not be sudden. It 
Inay be all but imperceptible. It may be Inore than once. 
But at least once, there conles a tinle when religion becomes a 
matter of personal conviction ,vith hhn. lIe is different from 
what he ,vas before. A change has passed over him. lie 
has awakened to his moral accountability. His manhood is 
developed. IIis conscience is aroused. And until that hap- 
pens, you cannot count on him. He may seem innocent and 
pious, hut you cannot tell whether it will not be "like thp 
dew that passeth away in the morning." You cannot say 
how he will act in temptation. You cannot reckon on ,vhat 
he will be next year. Perhaps then he ,vill draw sin " as with 
a cart-rope." The trouble with snch Ulen is not that they 


* St. Matt. ill. 2, 3. 



THE }USSION OF ST. JOHN TIlE TI.\.PTIST. 281 


sip sometimes. .L\.las! such is human frailty that a single 
:6111 would not dishearten us; but the real 11lisery is, tbat 
they have no princ{ple of not sinning. They are not pre- 
l)aring for Chrisfs judgrnent. Thcir contrition, such as it is, 
is intended to prepare them for confession, not for eternity. 
See, then, what we want! 
And this is ,,
hat I understand by tbe penance which St. 
John the Baptist preached. lIe practised it himself. It is 
thought that in St. John's case the use of reason was granted 
before birth; and ,vhen as a babe he leaped in his mother's 
w'omb, it was for conscious joy at the presence of his Lord 
and Saviour. And since tbe Blessed \Tirgin and St. Eliza- 
beth were cousins, doubtle
::; St. John and our Blcssed Saviour 
knew each other as childrcn. It is more than probable that 
tbey used to play together ,vhen they ".ere boys, as tbe paint- 
ers loved to represent them. ...:\.nd oh! what an effect did 
tbe kno\yledge of Christ have on St. John! It took the color 
out of earthly beauty, and the music out of earthly joy. 
There was with him afterward one overpow'ering desirc- 
the desire of sanctity. He had seen a vision of heaven. Not 
because he despised the ,,"orld, but because a higher beauty 
,yas opened to his soul, he ,vent into the desert, and his meat 
,vas locusts and ",vild honey. One ainl he had: to purify his 
... heart. One thougbt: to prepare for heaven, anel to help 
others also to prepare. 
Oh, let us heed his ,vorùs and exanlple. Let us follow bÍ111, 
if not in the rigor of his fastings, at least in tbe sincerity of 
his pe:nance. Be con verted, and turn to the Lord your God. 
There is no other way of preparing for judgment. Remem- 
ber what the Cburch says to yon at the Font: "If thou ,yilt 
enter into life, keep the commandments." Listen to 'what 
God IIin1self counsels, "\"vhen prophesying the terrors of the 
last day: "Rclnelnùe,' the law of JIuses, .illy servant, wlticl" I 
cO'f}1/Jnanded hin
 in IIoreb for all Israel, tIle precepts and 
judgments." * The law commanded in IIoreb-that eternal 



282 


GOD'S DESIRE TO BE LOVED. 


la,v of right, and justice, and purity, and truth-exa
ine 
yourself by this standard; forsake every evil way and live a 
Christian life. IIappy are they who do so! IIappy and se- 
cure shall they be in the evil tinle. When the earth and 
heaven shall be shaken, and sea and land give up their dead, 
and the Son of }fan appear in the heavens, and the Throne 
shall be set for judglnent, then look up and lift up your head, 
for your redemption draweth nigh. You have been true to 
J1"our conscience; you have believed in Christ; you have 
kept His law; now to 
you belongs the promise, " TAen they 
t/
atfeared tlw Lord spoke every man with Ids neig/
bor, and 
the Lord gave ear, and heard it: and a book of reme'lnbrance 
was w'J'itten before tlte Lord for tlwm t/
at fear tlw L07 ' d, and 
think on His Name. And tlwy shall be My special posses- 
sion, sctith tne Lord of Hosts, in the day that I do judgment: 
and I will spare them as a man s'pareth his own 80n that 
8ervetlt ILim." t 
/ 


. 


SER
ION VII. 


GOD'S DESIRE TO BE LOVED. 


(CHRIST
A8 DAY.) 


U Thou art beautiful above the sons of men: grace is poured abroad in Thy 
lips; thereforo hath God blessed Thee forever. Gird Thy sword upon Thy 
thigh, 0 Thou most mighty. With Thy comeliness and Thy beauty, set out, pro- 
ceed prosperously and reign."-Ps. XLIV. 3-5. 


THE Church calls on us to-day to rejoice and be glad for 
the Incarnation of the Son of God. With a celebration 
peculiar to this Feast, she breaks the dead silence of the llight 


* St. Matt. iv. 4. 


t St. Matt. iii. 16, 17. 



GOD'S DESIRE TO BE LOVED. 


283 


with her first Yas3 of joy. She repeats it again as the east 
redùens with the da"
n. And still again, ,vhen the sun is 
shining in full day, she offers anew' a l\Iass of thanksgiving 
for a blessiÙg w'hich can never be sufficiently praised and 
Inagnified. I have thought that I could not better attune 
your hearts to all this gladness and gratitude tban by 
reminding you of one of tho motives of the Incarnation. 
Why did our Lord become man 
 and why did lIe become 
Man in the way TIe did 
 I answer, out of IIis desire to be 
loved by us. TheJ.
e is a love of benevolence, "hich is con- 
tent silnply with doing good without asking a return. God 
has this love for us. Nature and reason tell us so. "IIe 
'1nal.;etlì IItS sun to rise on the good and the bad, ancl rainetlì 
1lJ}On the just and the 1tnjust." 7:. And there is another love, 
the love of friendship, which seeks to be united to tho oòject 
of its love. And tbe Incarnation shows us that God has this 
kind of love for man. IIis love makes us lovable in IIis eyes, 
and this again lnakes TIinl vebetnently desire onr love. This 
will be my subject this morning-the Incarnation, an evi- 
dence of God's desire to be loved by us. 
And, first, observe, that there is no other reason given for 
the Incarnation which sufficiently accounts for it in all its 
circulTIstances. There are several reasons for the Incarnation. 
It is the doctrine of many Catholic theologians that God 
,vou1d have become .Man even if man had never sinned; that 
it was part of IIis original plan in forming the creature thus 
to unite it to Himself. Again, it is said that our Lord 
became Man in order to make satisfaction for sin. A.nd a 
third reason alleged for His becoming )Ian, is, that lIe might 
give us a perfect example. No\vall these reasons are true: 
but neither of thelll alone, nor all of them together, entirely 
account for the Incarnation with all its circumstances. Not 
the fir
t, for even if God had predetermined that I-li
 Son 


* St. Matt. v. 45. 



284 


GOD'S DESIRE TO BE LOVED. 


should become Man, irrespective of man's transgression, cer- 
tainly in that case lIe ,vould not have come poor and sorrow- 
ful, as lIe did. The necessity of a satisfaction for sin accounts 
indeed for our Lord's sufferings in part, but not altogether; 
for lIe suffered far more than was necessary. Besides, it w.as 
not necessary for a Divine Person to have suffered for us un- 
less it had pleased God to require a perfect satisfaction, 
\vhich He ,vas free to demand or dispense ,vith. The desire 
to give a good example may be suggested as the explanation 
of our Lord's humiliation; but when we consider a moment, 
,ve will see that though a good man really does give a good 
example, he does very feU", if any of his actions, for the 
mere sake of giving it. There are many things, then, in our 
Lord's becoming 
fan, and His life as },iran, that need some 
further reason. What is that reason 
 It is His great desire 
to be loved by us. Suppose this, and every tbing is clear. 
I do not mean to say that this account of our Lord's Incar- 
nation n1akes it any less ,vonderful-it makes it more so- 
but it gives a motive for it all. Suppose Him influenced by 
an intense desire to gain our love, and then 'We see why lIe 
stooped so low, why lIe did so much more than was neces- 
sarJ., why he was so lavish in condescension-in a word, tbis 
is the explanation of what would other,vise seem to be the 
eæcess of IIis love. 
Then, again, let us consider how our Lord's Incarnation is 
adapted to win our love. 'Vhen we see means perfectly 
adapted to an end, we are apt to conclude tbat they were 
chosen in view of that end. Now, our Lord's humiliatibn is 
in all its parts 

onderfully calculated to attract love. 
His taking our nature is especially so. There is a won- 
d
rful pow.er in blood. To be of kin is a tie that survives 
all changes and all tÌInes. Now, here our Lord makes HÍIn- 
self of kin to us, of the same blood. lIe is no stranger, be- 
fore 
'hom we need feel at a great distance, but our relation, 
of our flesh and blood. 



GOD'S DESIRE TO BE LOVED. 


285 


And then as ]'Ian, lIe has clothed IIirnself with evcry thing 
that can make IIim attractiye in the eycs of In an. TIe 
makes IIis first appearance in the ,,"'orld as an Infant, a beau- 
tiful Babe. IIo,v attracth-e is a beautiful child! Men even 
of rugged natures are softened by looking at it. .It little 
child brings a flood of grace and light into a house. :K 0""', 
to-day, the Son of God is a Babe at Dethlebem. lIe has 
the beauty of infancy, but there is also a superadded beauty, 
a light playing on IIis features that is not of earth, the light 
of Infinite Wisdo111 and Eternal Lovc. See, lIe looks around 
and smiles, and stretches out I1is hand
, as if inviting 11S to 
caress 11im. 
In n1any children this beauty of infancy is evanescent, but 
in our Lord it was the earnest of a grace and loveliness that 
follo,,?cd TIim through life. It is evident that - there was 
sðn1ething lnost attractive about our Lorù to th08(, '\vho ap- 
proached IIinl. As IIe grew in stature TIe increased in 
favor, not only ,,?ith God but with men. When lIe had at- 
tained to manhood, lie was such a one that children willingly 
gathered around IIim in the streets, and people stopped to 
look at I1in1 as lIe passed, and men'
 minds ,vere strangely 
stirred in them as lIe spoke, and the thought caIne into 
women's hearts, "Ifo,v happy to be the m
ther of such a 
Son 1" Who but TIe knew how perfectly to mingle dignity 
with falniliarity, zeal with serenity, and austerity with com- 
passion 
 Even at the distance of time that ,YC are froBl I-lis 
eartbly life, nis words reach us like tbe s,veetest music. 
What other preacher can say the same words again and again, 
and never mal
e us weary 
 Whose tones are there that linger 
in our ears like Iris, and come like a spell to our hearts in 
times of temptation and sorrow 
 Why, even scoffers baye 
acknowledged this. Tbe beauty and excellence of our Sa- 
viour's chrrracter llavc wrung a eulogiuln from a celebrated 
opponent of Christianity, and at least a lTIOmentary confession 
that its author was Divine. 



286 


GOD'S DESIRE TO BE LOVED. 


Then, to the attractions of nis character, our Lord has 
added the destitution of Iris circumstances, in order to gain 
our love. It is natural for us to love any thing that is de- 
pendent on us. The sick child that needs to be nursed, the 
helpless and depressed, the poor that appeal to us, even the 
bird and the dog that look to us for their food, come to have 
a place in our hearts. Now, our Lord, at least even in this 
way to win us, has placed Hin1self in a state of complete de- 
pendence on us. Froln the cradle to the grave, and even 
beyond the grave, lIe appeals to man for the supply of every 
want. 
Think what it n1ight have been. Think of the twelve 
legions of angels that are impatient to come and minister to 
Him. But no! He restrains them. For his swathing-bands, 
He ,viII be a debtor to 1tlary's care. For a h
bitation, fIe 
will put up with the stall of the ox and the ass. The mån- 
gel' from which the cattle are fed shall be His cradle. St. 
Joseph shall bear the expenses of his early years; and when 
St. Joseph is gone, and He bas begun Ilis Ininistry of 
preaching, Joanna and the other holy. ,vomen shall minister 
to Him of their substance. And at last, 1tlagdalene shall 
anoint His body for bm"ial, and Joseph of Arimathea shall 
give IIim a winding-sheet and a grave. 
I said He carried His poverty beyond tbe grave. And so 
He does. For His churches, for the glory of His altars, for 
I-lis priests, for IIis sacraments, even for the bread and wine 
which shall serve as veils for His presence, He depends on 
us, that out of love ,ve may minister to IIhn, and by minis- 
tering may love Him better. 
And, further: while on the one hand. our Lord thus ap4 
peals to our affections by the poverty of His condition, on 
the other 1-Ie compels our love by the greatness of His sacri- 
fices for us. In His Sennon on the 
lount, He bids us, "If 
any man force 11S to go with Hin1 a mile, to go with him 



GOD'S DESIRE TO BE LOVED. 


287 


other two ;'" * and certainly it bas been by this rule that lIe 
has acted toward us. I have already said our Lord has done 
far more than was necessary to redeem us. "\Vhy, in strict- 
ncss of justice, lIe had ransomed us before lIe was born. 
The very first act of love lIe nladc to His Fathor, after Ilis 
conception, ,,'as enough to redeem countless "Worlds. But 
lIe did not then go back to IUs Father. lIe staid on earth 
to do lTIOre for us. lIe would not leaye any thing undone 
that could be done. lIe would not leave a single member 
of I-lis body, a single power of I-lis soul, tbat was not tmïled 
into a sacrifice for us. 
No doubt, if, at the birth of any child, ,ve could foresee all 
it would have to suffer during its life, there would be enough 
to 111ing1e sadness with our joy. TIut this child was pre- 
en1inently a child of sorrow; and Simeon, ""hen he took . 
HÎln np in his arms, forcsa,v that the sad future ,,"ould break 
IIis mother's heart. Yes, that little Child is the willing vic- 
tim of our sins. On that little head tbe crown of thorns 
shall be placed. Those tiny hands shaH be pierced ,vith nails. 
Those eyes shall weep. Those cars shall be fined with 
reproach and blasphemy. That smooth cheek be spit upon. 
That mouth be filled with vinegar and gall. And why was 
all tbis 
 He Himself has told us: "And I, if I be lifted up 
ii'om the earth, ""ill dra,v all things to 1\fyselt:" t That 'vas 
the bope that urged Him on. That 'was the key to His 
whole life. It was all an effort, a struggle, to gain our 
love. 
And, once lnore: the effect of the Incarnation has been 
love. 'Ve read God's purposes in their fulfiltnen t. We see 
what onr Lord ,intended in His hun1iliation, by looking at 
\,hat it has produced. There is no doubt that the love of 
God has been far more general among men, and far more 
tender, since the Incarnation. Only compare St. Antony of 


* St. Matt. v. 41. 


t St. John xii. 32. 



288 


GOD'S DESIRE TO BE LOVED. 


Padua, fondling the Infant Jesus, ,vith Elias, covering his 
face ,vith his nlantle before the Lord in the cave at Horeb. 
Compare the book of' Job with the epistles of St. Paul or St. 
John. God is in both books; but the Prophet sees I-lim 
through a glass darkly: the Apostles" have seen and 
handled the Word of Life." One of the lTIOst beautiful 
passages in the Old Testan1ent, and one which approaches 
the nearest to the N e,v, is the history of the martyrdom of 
the seven sons with their lTIother in the time of Judas 
lacha- 
bæus. But how this story pales before the Acts of -the 
Christian 
Iart'yrs! In these Jewish heroes ,ve see, indeed, 
faith in God, and remembrance of IIis promises, and hope in 
the Resurrection; but how different is this from the glo\ving 
language of an Ignatius, ,vIto clainled to carry Christ \vithin 
hi_lll; or of an Agnes, who claÏ1ned to be the Spouse of Christ, 
whom He had betrothed with a ring, and adorned with 
bridal j e,vels ! 
Nor is it only in highly spiritual people, or highly gifted 
people of any kind, that we see this Christian, personal love 
of God. The poor, the dull, the ignorant cannot understand 
the abstract arguments about God, but they can understand 
a crucifix, they know the Ineaning of Bethlehem and Calvary. 
And Inany an old woman, ,vho kno,vs little lTIOre, has learned 
enough to 1nake her happy, in the thought that" God 80 
loved the world as tv give His only begotten Son, that wh08o- 
ever believeth in H,-im may not peri8h, but may l
ave life ever- 
lasting." * 
Then there are children; some people cOlnplain that they 
:find it ver'y hard to interest them in re1igion. I \vill tell you 
ho,v to succeed. Tell theln the story of Joseph and Mary, 
and the Babe lying in a manger. Tell them about the 
shepherds that ,vere watching their flocks by night, and the 
angels that came and talked to them. Tell them about the 


*' St. John iiL 16. 



GOD'S DESIRE TO DE LOVED. 


289 


garden in ,,'hich J esns was betrayed, and tlJl
 cross on ,vhich 
he died, and yon ,vill see their little eyes open ,,
ide with 
interest. I kne,v a ùoy ,vho, w'hen he read the story of 
Pcter"s denial of onr Lord, got up fi'oln his scat, and, ,vith 
tears in his eyes, exclaillled, "Oh, 111ot11er, ,vhat IIHLde Peter 
do that I" And I have heard of a little boy,vho, \vhen he 
was dying, called his Inother to his side, and told her that he 
had kept all the lTIOney she had given him, in a little box, 
and ,,,,hen he was dead he ,vanted her to take it and buy a 
coat for the Infant J esns. 1 kno,,? it ,vas a strange, childish 
conceit; but it showed that our Saviour had found nis way 
to that little boy's heart; and sure I am that when, in Para- 
dise, he stood before the bright throne of Christ, and heard 
from those divine lips the praise of his short life, that legacy 
,vas not forgotten. 
Yes; our Lord has found out the \,ay to win hearts. lIe 
has succeeded. The issue proves the wisdom of his plan. 
.Lis heaven fills up "ith saints flaming with love, lIe says, 
"Whence are these 
 and who hath begotten thmn
" Then 
He remembers that they are the fruit of the travail of Iris 
soul, that they were born to Him at Bethlehem and Calvary, 
and He "is satisfied." 
The truth iB, w'e arc not so sensible of this effect of the In.. 
carnation, because '\ve are so fanliliar with it. We hardly 
realize how Ineagro nlen's notions about God naturally are. 
Of course, ,ve know by reason the existence of God, and 1llany 
of His attributes; but ,,"ithout revelation, these are very in.. 
distinct. We know that He is great and good and beauti- 
fu1; but still there is a gulf behveen us and Hin1. Partly, 
no doubt, this. arises from our sense of guilt. 1Ve fear God, 
because we have offended Him. But there is a dread of God, 
and a sense of distance froln Him, that does not come from 
guilt. The nlost innocent feel it the keenest. I know not 
why, but 'we dread Him because He is so spiritual. He is so 
strange and mysterious. We cannot think what He is like. 
13 



290 


GOD'S DESIRE TO BE LOVED. 


We lose ourselves when \ve try to think of Hirn. There are 
so many things in the ,vorld that frighten us. We do not 
know how God feels to\vard us. We have a diffidence in 
approaching fIin1 which w'e cannot shake off. Now, all the 
'Yhile, God is full of the 1nost w'onderfullove to lnan. Heaven 
is not enough for Him. Even ,vith the angels, it is a wilder- 
ness because n1an is absent. At last IIe resol veg what He 
,vill do. lie v{ill lay aside .altogether that majesty ,vhich 
affrights man so lnuch. "The distance is too great," lIe 
says, "betwe(bl1 ]'1e and :Thly creatures. .1 Myself will 
econ1e 
a creature. 
ran flies from Me. I ,viII become M-an. Every 
thing loves its kind. I ,villlnake Myself like him. ' I ,,,,ill 
draw him with the cords of Adam, ,vith the bands of love.' * 
I will tell hiln how the case stands-that I love him and 
desire his love. I ,vill tell hinl to love Me, not for his sake, 
but Mine; and when I have nlade him understand this-when 
I have gained his love; when I have healed his ,vonnd and 
made hirn happy-then I ,vill cOlne back, and call on all the 
angels of heaven, and say, 'Rejoice with 
fe, for i have 
found the sheep that I had iost.' " 
Such is the enterprise that our Lord enters on to-day. He 
comes to tell you ho\v He loves yon, and ho\v lIe desires your 
love. "Behold, I bring to JOu glad tidings of great joy, and 
this shall be the sign to you: you' shall find the Infant "Tap- 
ped in swaddling-clothes, and laid in a nl:1.nger." It is a sign 
of IIumanity. It is a sign of Beauty. It is a sign of HUlnil- 
ity. It is a sign of Love. He speaks to you, not in words, 
but in actions. The cold ,vind whistles in His cavern, but 
lIe will not have it other\visc. David said: "I will not en- 
ter into tlz.e tabernacle of my I
o?ne: I VJill not go 1tp i'n:to 1ny 
bed. I will not give sleep to 1nyeyes, or slumber to myeye- 
lids, or rest to 'Iny temjìle8, 'until I.find out a . place fO]" tlte 
Lord, a taber'llacleJòr tlu} God qf Jacob." t So the ne\v-born 


* Osee xi. 4. 


t Isai. c:xx:1Í. 3-5. 



GOD'S DESIRE TO BE LOVED. 


291 


t;avlour ""ill not take any cOlnfort till TIe hns got your love. 
lIe is waiting in the lnanger, and until you C01l1e and take 
Him hon}(
, lic ,,'ill accept no other. The palaces of the 
worlù, and aU the je\vels and the gold are IIis, but lIe \vill 
have none of them. lie wants to abide in your lo\vly honse, 
and in your poor heart. niB head is full of dc\v, and His 
locks of the drops of the night, and lIe knocks for you to open 
to Hin1. Oh, to-day, I do not envy those ",.bo ,vill not re- 
ceive HiIn. I do not envy those ,,,ho are \vandering about 
in error, and kno"\v not the true Bethlehcln, the llouse of 
Bread, the Holy Church of God. I do not envy the disobe- 
dient Christian. I do not envy the indifferent luan, for .whon1 
Christ is born in vain. TIut I praise those who Inako it their 
first care to keep themselvcs united to Jesus Christ. And 
lUOst of a11, I praise those 'Who strive to . lnaintain a holy fa- 
Iniliarity with Jesus Christ; ".ho by prayer, by con11nunion, 
by self-denial, by generous obcdicnce, return their Saviour 
love for love. 
o my brethren, ,vhy do ,ve grovel on earth, when ,ve might 
have onr conversation in heaven? Why do \ve set our hearts 
on creatures, ,,,,hen we Inight have the Creator for our friend 
 
Why do we follo,v the Evil One, ,vhen lIe that is beautiful 
above the sons of ll1cn is our Master aud our Lord? ,\Thy 
are we 80 ,veak in temptation, so despairing in trial, when ,ye 
Inight have the peace and joy of the children of God? What 
more can ".e ,vnnt 
 God has given us the Only-begotten 
Son, tho Mighty God, the Wonderful Counsellor, the Prince 
of Peace; and ho\v shall He not ".ith Him freely gi,.o us all 
things 
 All ,ve want i
 to recognize our happine::5s. 'Vhen 
Jacob 'yoke froin sleep, he said: "The Lord is in th
s place, 
and I knew it not." So ,ye do not" realize how near God is 
to us. 1Vhat is the sound that reaches ns to-day 
 It is the 
"Voice of the Beloved, calling to us: ":Thly love, 
fy sponse, 
My undefiled I" Yes, Iny Lord, I answer to Thy call. I 
enter to-day into the school of Thy Holy Love. I make now 



292 THE FAII.JURE AND SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL. 


the resolution that "liencifo'J'th neitlwr life nor deat1
, nor 
height nor deptlt, nor any other creature sltall be able to sep" 
arate ?nefrom the love of God, which is in Ohl
ist Jesus OUT 
Lord." 7
 


. 


SERMON VIII. 


THE FAILURE AND SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL. 


(SEXAG ESnIA.) 


"Saying these things he {'ried out: He that hath ears to hear, let bim he:tr." 
ST. LUKE VIII. 8. 


TUERE is one Ineasure by which, if our Lord's work were 
tried, it 1night be pronounced a failure; and that is by the 
measure of great immediate, visible results. The thought 
n1Ïght conle into onr mind, that it is strange our Lord was 
not luore successful than He was. He was the Son of God, 
no one ever spake as He did. He conversed ,vith a great 
nUluber of men-in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Galilee. lIe 
was al,vays going about from place to place. He died in the 
sight of a 'v hole city. Yet ,vhat ,vas thB result of all 
 On 
the Day of Pentecost, His disciples were gathered together 
in the upper chalnber, and they numbered, all told, one 
hundred and hyenty. So it is, like,vise, with the Church. 
After all, ,vhat has she done 
 Put her numbers at the high- 
est. Say she has t,vo hundred millions of souls in her COlTIlTIU- 
nion. What are they to the eight hundred millìons that inhabit 
he globe 
 t And ho,v many of her melnbers are there who 


* Romans viii. 3D. 
t Recent estimates of the population of the globe vary from 840,000,000, to 

,300,000,000, and of the number of Catholics from 160,000,000 to 208,000,000. 
OLDcr Christians are about 130,000,000. 



THE FAILURE AND SUCCESS OF TIlE GOSPEL. 293 


can be calleù Catholics or Christians, only in a broad, exter- 
nal sense! lIas Christianity, then, accornplished the results 
that IniO'ht ha.ve Leen looked for 
 Is it not a failure 
 

 
I ,,
ill attempt 
his Ul0rlling to gi \"0 SOUle reasons sho\ving 
that Christianity is not a failure, although it has accorn- 
plished only partial results. .A.nd tho first rClnark I Inake is 
this: that partial results belong to every thing Inll11an. __'\.1- 
tbough Christianity is a ùi vine religion, by coming into the 
,vorlù it brcalHo subject in lllany respects to the laws that 
govern human things. To specify one, Christianity ùcnlands 
attention. "lIe that hath ears to hear, let. him hear." "\Vith- 
out attention, Christianity ,vill never produce its impression 
on onr conduct. Now, attention is 'a thing hard to get frolll 
Inen. It is one of the greatest ,vants in the ,vorId, the ,vaut 
of attention. "Wit/
 desolation is all the land made desolate," 
says the IIoly Scripture, "ùeca,use thel'e is none tli,at consid- 
eretl
 in t!te !teal'i." 
{- 'Ve see exalnples of this on every 
side. Take the instance of young Inen at college. After 
passing several years there, at a considerable expense to 
their parents, professeùly for the sake of acquiring an edu- 
cation, a certain nUlnber of them kno\v nothing but the 
naInes of the things they havo been studying. This is the 
entire result of all they ha\Tc heard or read, an acquisition 
of some of the tern1S Inade use of in science. Others have 
gained SOlne confused and partial know'1edge, ,vhich for 
practical purposes is all but useless; w.hilo .those ,vho have 
acquired precise, accurate, useful inforlnation, that is, ,vho 
have gained any real sf'ience, are fe\v indeed. It is the sarno 
in business. Every trade and profession is crowded with bun- 
glers \,ho do not know their o,vn business, because they have 
been too lazy to learn it, and ,vho grumble at the snccess of 
others "ho have not spared the pains necessary to becolne 
masters. So also it is in politics. We hear a great deal 


* J er. xii. 11. 



294: THE FAILURE AND SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL 


about the general diffusion of intelligence in this country, 
and are told ho\v the sovereign people ,vatch the actions of 
public Inen and call thenl to account. N O\V, I suppose there 
is Inore ""ide-spread inforlnation on public matters in this 
country than in any other in the ,vorld, but ,vhat does it 
amount to after all 
 A great D1any read the newspapers 
,,"itbout passing any independent jud.grnent on their state- 
lnents, while those who reaIly shape political opinions and 
action are but a small clique in each locality. 
This being so, it ought not to surprise us that men give 
but little attention to religion. If learning, bu
iness, poli- 
ti.cs, things that touch oqr present interests so closely, can 
only to a superficial extent engage the thoughts of men, ,vill 
religion, which relates chiefly to man's future welfare, be 
Inore successful 
 In one sense, Ch
'istianity is as old as the 
world; for there bas been a continuous testimony to the 
truth from the first, but it has never yet had a full hearing. 
Ho\v do men act about religion 
 SOlne listen to its teach- 
ing only ,vith tbeir ears, as a busy ITIan in his office listens 
to a jew's-harp or a band-organ on the street. So Gallio lis- 
tened, \v 110 "cared for none of these things." SOlne listen 
,vith their hearts, that is, with attention enough to rnvaken a 
passing elllotion or sentiment. So Felix listened, ,vhen he 
trembled at St. Paul's preaching, anù promised to hear hint 
again at a Inore convenient season. Only a few listen ,vith 
attentive cars and hearts and hands, the only true ,vay of 
listening, the ,vay St. Paul listened, when he said, "Lord, 
wl
at wilt T/
o'U, have me to do ?"
:' 'Vhen you say, then, that 
Christianity has produced but partial results, YOll are but 
saying that lnen are frivolous and thoughtless, that there are 
lllauy who do not listen to religion, or do not listen to it ,vith 
earnestness and lay to heart its practical lessons. "1Visdom 
preachetlL abroad j she 'lttteJ"etIL her voice in" tILe streets j at 


* Acts Ïx. 6. 



THE FAILrRE AKD SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL. 295 


the Ilead of rnultitullL,o; she crieth olut /' bnt it is of no avail 
to the greater nUlliùer, ., because they 'ta l'e hated instr-ttC- 
tj
on, and fl'eccived 'not the fear if tlte L01'd.
' .:
 1\Ioreoyer, 
Ollr Lord foresaw that the snccess of IIis gospel ,,"ould be 
but partial. \Ve see this in the very passage froBl ,vhich the 
text is taken. There is something melancholy in the way 
the cyangelist introduces the parable of thc so,ve1': "An(l 
1.ohen a very gl'eat ?nultitude'Loas gatltci'ed togetltc}' and ltas- 
te11.ed out of the cities to ltim, Ile spoke by a 8Ï1nilitude: .A 
80'[cer went out to sow his seed," etc. This ,vas the thought 
,.hich the sight of a very great Inultitude pressing around 
IIÍ1n awoke in the n1ind of our Lord: ho\v small a part 
".ould really give heed to Iris ,yords, or really appreciate 
thenl: ho\v in some hearts the ,,,,ord ,,,"ould be trodden do,vn, 
in others be choked or ,vither a ,va.}"; and this is the secret 
of the energy ,yith ,vhich lIe cried out at the end of the 
parable, "IIe that ltatlt eal"8 to lteal
, let hÏ1n heal
." The same 
thought COllIes out in the conversation ".hith he had 3.fter- 
"Tard with IIis discipl
s, ,vhen they asked an explanation of 
the parable: "The heart 0/ tit is people is gpown gross,. and 
with theÏl' eaJ ' 8 tlleY llave been dull if Itearing, and tlwÍl
 eycs 
they Itave 8h'ttt: lest at any time tlleY SllO'ltld see 'witlL tlleÙ
 
eyes, and heal" with theÍ1
 ears, and 'understand with tlleir 
heart, and should be con'Cel
ted, and I shou.ld lteal thc')n. But 
blessed (t'pe your eyes because they see, an(l "YOU1" ea'J's because 
they lleaf'."t 
Our Lord ,vas as far as possible, then, froln expecting that 
tbe course of things 'v uld stand still, and all men cOlnply 
instantly ,vith his preaching. Nor ,vere His predictions 
respecting His Church such as to warrant more sanguine 
expectations of her success. In His charge to His disciples, 
He let thetll kno,v ,vhat they were to expect: " TV7wn yo'tt 
come into a llouse salute it, saying: Peace be to tltis house. 


* Proverbs L 20, 21, 29 


t St. Matt. xüi. 15, 16. 



296 THE FAILURE AND SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL. 


And if that house be two'rthy, YOU1
 peace shall come 'upon it j 
but if it be not wort1
y, yo'u/r peace sl
all retu.rn to you. And 
wlwn tltey shall pel'secute you in this city, flee into another." * 
Nor were their trials to be altogether external. "And then 
shall 'lnany be scandalised, and shall betray one another, and 
shallll,ate one anotlwr. And because iniqltity hath abounded, 
the cltarity of 'Jnany shall waw cold." t 
'Vhen, then, you say, See! in that country the Church 
has all but died out; in that country faith is weak, and the 
most active minds in it are estranged from religion; in that 
country scandals abound; in that country there was a great 
apostasy; that other was fruitful in heresies :-1 reply, you 
are only verifying our Lord's predictions; yon are only say- 
ing what fIe said before the event. If religion has 110t ac- 
COl11plished all that could b
 desired, it has at least done 
,vhat it promised. 
Nor is this all. Not only did our Lord foresee that Inany 
,vould reject His grace, but lIe acquiesced in it. Iris ,york 
is not a failure, because He does not account it so. What 
though many refuse to listen 
 They that ,vill be saved, 
those of good will and honest hearts, they 'v ill be saved, and 
that is enough. He saw of the travail of His soul, and was 
satisfied. Our Lord shed IIis blood for all men; He ,villed 
seriously the salvation of all men; but since all ,vill not be 
saved, He is content to give it for those who ,viII. He" is 
the Saviour -of all men, especially of tl
e faitnf,ul." :I: 1Vhen 
TIe caIne to Jerusalem to die, looking at the city, He .wept 
to think how many ,vere there who knew not the time of 
their visitation; but that did not deter Irinl from marching 
on to 1Ylount Calvary. When He foretold to St. Peter, be- 
fore His passion, aU He ,vas about to suffer, St. Peter, ,vith 
Inistaken affection, begged Him to spare I-lÍ111self. "Far be 
this from Thee." Ho,v much more ,vould he have dissuaded 


* St. Matt. x. 12, 13, 23. 


t Th. xxiv. 10, 12. 


* 1 Tim. iv. 10. 



THE FAILURE AND SUCCESS OJ!' THE GOSPEL. 297 


our Lord, if he could haye foresren in ho,,
 many cases t.hese 
laùor8 and sufferings ,vouId have been fruitless. Would he 
not have said to IIiIl1, "() I.Jord! do not suffer so 111uch, 
turn fi,vay thy face froln the smiter, and thy In
ut11 froln 
gall. Do not crush Thy heart \vith cruel grief, or bathe Thy 
hody in a sweat of agony. Tho \'ery Inen for \VhOln Thou 
diest \vill disbelieve Thee, or, believing, ,vill disobey Thee.
' 
Can ,ve doubt to ,vhat effect our Saviour ,\
ould ha\.o an. 
s\vered? " If I be lifted up I \vill draw all Inen to 1\le, and 
all ,vill not resist }Ie. I shall see of tbe travail of My soul, 
and shall be satisfied." 
Or I can iInagine that at the Last Supper, as onr Lord 
wa.s abont to institute the Blesseù Sacranlent of IIis body 
and bloQd, the saIne ,varIn-hearted disciple
 laying his hand 

n his Master's ann, Inight have said, "Do not do it! Thou 
thillkest they cannot 'withstand this proof of 10'"e. But, alas! 
they ,vill pass by unheeding. Thou w'ilt rClnain on the 
altars of Thy churches night and day, but the I1nlltitude ,vill 
not kno\v Thee, or ask after Thee, and they that do kno\\T 
Thee ,vill insult Thee in Thy very gifts, ,vill treat Thee 
"yith disrespect, and rcceive Thee \vith dishonor." But our 
Lord gently disregards his rCInonstrance, and having loved 
His o,vn \vho \vcre in the ,vorld, loves theln to the end, and 
for then1 is contented to make IIinlself a perpetual prisoner 
of love. Oh, 111Y brethren, our statistics and our aritlllnetic 
are sadly at fault ,,,,hen \ye are dealing ,vith divine things. 
When .A.brahanl \vent to plead \vith Almighty God to spare 
Sodom, he began by asking as a great Inatter that the city 
rnight be spared if fifty just men \vere found in it, and the 
ans\ver ,vas prolnpt and free, "I will not do it for fifty's 
sake." SOlnewhat elnboldened, he came dù,vn by degrees 
to ten, and received the saIne ans\ver, but stopped there, 
thinking that" he could make no further dernand on the mercy 
of God. It is a thing "
e ,vill never understand, ho\v much 
God has the heart or a fâther. When ne"Ts ,vas brought to 
13* 



298 THE FAILURE AND SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL. 


the patriarch Jacob, that Joseph, bis son, ,vas yet Ii ving, all 
his woes and hardships ,vere forgotten in a lnonlent, and he 
said: It is enough. Joseph, IHY son, .is yet alive." So, all the 
unkindness, disobedience,_unbelief of men, are cOlnpensated 
to the heart of Christ by the fervor of IIis true children, His 
servants wholn If e hath chosen, I-lis elect in WhOlll IIis soul 
delighteth. Weary on the cross, His fainting eye sees their 
fidelity and their love, and His heart revives, and lIe says: 
"It is enough." Christ accounts the fruits of His redemp- 
tion great, and they are great. This is onr temptation, to 
undervalue the good that is in the world. Evil is so obtru- 
sive, that ,ve are but too apt to attribute to it a larger share 
in the world than it really holds. Ho,v much of good, then, 
has been and is in the world 
 The Blessed Virgin, the 
Queen of IIeaven, the perfect fruit of Christ's redemption, 
once ,vall
ed the earth, engaged in lo,vly, e,'ery-day duties, 
like any m'aid or mother among us. Moses and Elias and 
St. John the Baptist once lived our life bere on the earth; 
and tbe hundred and forty-four thousand ,vho sing a new 
song before the throne of God, and the great Inultitnde that 
no lnan can nUInLer out of all people and kindrec1s and tribes 
and tongues, clothed in ,vhite and ,vith palms in their hands. 
You talk of failure! ",Vhy has not the sonnd of the gospel 
gone into all lands, and its ,vords to the end of the ,vorld 
 
IIa vo not enlpires o,vned its s,vay, and kings COIne bending 
to seek its blessings? Have not millions of martyrs loved it 
better than their Ii ves 
 lIas not tho solitary place been 
I11ado glad by the hymns of its anchorites, and the desert 
blossolned like a rose under their toil 
 Is there a profession, 
or trade, or court, or country .which has not been sanctified 
by moral heroes ,vho dre\v in their holy inspirations from its 
lessons? And ,vho can tell us the anlonnt of goodness in 
eyory-day life, to sonle extent necessarily hidden, but of 
,vhich ,ye catch such unearthly glimpses, and ,vhich is tbe 



THE FAII..FRE AND SUCCESS OF TUg GOSPEL. 299 


practical fi"nit uf its principles? The virtuous falnilies, the 
upright transactions, the glorious sacriticcs, the noble chari- 
ties, the rcstraint of passion, the interior purity, the patient 
perseverance! Listen to the description ,vhich God IIirnself 
gives of the result:; of the gospel: 
" 1T7Lo are tlwse, tlLat fly as clouds, and as doves to tlteÙ' 
windows? For tlte -islands wait for 'lne, and tlw sldps Qf 
the sea in tlie beginning,. tllat I'lnay lJ'J'ill[J tllY sons IrolJL 
afar,. tlwb
 silver and tlwir gold with tlwm, to the ,name qf 
tIle Lord t/
y God, and to tILe Iloly One of Israel, because lIe 
hatlL glorified thee. Iniqltity sllall no 'Inore òe IwaJ>d in th!! 
land, wasting no/' dC8tJ'uctio;
 in tlLY bordcps,. and salvation 
shell p08sess thy walls, and praise tllY gates. "TILY sun slLall 
go down no more, and thy moon shall not rlecl'case : for tlw 
Lord slLall be 
lnto thee for an everlasting ll
gld, ancl tlw days 
of illY 'Inourning sltall be ended. 
1nà thy jJeople shall òe all 
just,. they shall inlwl"it tlte land fore
'er, tIle òranch of'ln!/ 
planting, tlte work if 'iny lland, to glorify 'Ine. The .lea
t 
shall becorne a tllousand, and a little one a 'inost strong natl
o71. 
I, the Lord, 'will suddenly do this tILing in its time." * 
N ow, this is the Catholic Church, as Good sa,v it in the future, 
and as lIe sees it no".. These beautiful words are true in 
their measure, of every diocese, of every parish, in our day. 
To-day, as the IToly Church throughout the world flings open 
her doors and rings her bells, and the cro'\vd press in, in cities, 
in villages, in country places, God recognizes thousands of 
his true '\vorshippers, ".ho ,vorship Him in spirit and in truth. 
We see and kno'\y some of them, but only His all-seeing eye 
sees thenl. all, and only IIis olnni-science, ,vhich forekno,vs tl
e 
nurnher of those who shall be His by faith and good works, 
can measure the greatness of the harvest of souls '\vhich lIe 
,vill reap at the end of the world. The Lord cometh wit
l 
ten thousand of His saints. The Last Judgment is the vic- 


* Isai. Ix. 8, 9, 18, 20, 21. 22. 



300 THE FAILURE AND SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL. 


tory of Christ. Then again, surrounded by the fruit of His 
passion, lIe nlay repeat the ,vords ,vhich lIe spoke at the 
close of IIis earthly ministry: "I have glorified thee upon 
the earth. I have finished the work which thou gavest me 
to do. Those ,vhom thou gavest TIle I have kept, and none 
of them hath perished except the son of perdition." * 
These thoughts point the ,yay to two practic
llessons, one 
relating to our duty to others, the other relating to our duty 
to ourselves. 
We see here the spirit in \vhich we ought to labor for the 
conversion of others. There is certainly a great deal of good 
to be done around us. Ho\v Jnany in this country are out 
of the Ark of safety, the Catholic Church of Christ! I-Io\v 
Inany in her fold need our efforts and labors to make them 
better! Why are we not more active in laboring for thein 
 
We say it is of no use; we have tried and failed. Those 
whose conversion "
e had most at heart seem farther off froln 
the truth than ever. It .is no use hoping for the conversion 
of those 'v ho are not Catholics; they are too set in their 
,vays. 1.Iany of those Catholics, too, ,vho were doing ,veIl às 
\ve hoped, have fallen off a.gain, and ,ve are weary of laboring 
,vith so little success. Oh! \vhat a Inean spirit this is; ho,v 
unlike the spirit of Christ! IIo\v unlike the spirit of that 
apostle ,vho Inade himself all things to alllnen that he lnight 
save some. You vdll put up with no failures. Christ and St. 
Paul \vere content to meet ,vith many failures for the sake of 
some success. IIo,v unlike the spirit of St. Francis of Sales, 
,vho labored so hard during so Inany discouraging years, for 
the conversion of his misguided S\viss. Christ ,vas rejected 
and crucified by those whom lIe came to teach. The apos- 
tles 'v ore despised and their naines cast out as evi1. And 
you 'will not labor because you cannot bave immediate and 
fnll success. But son1e success you ,vill meet ,vith. Yon 


* St. John xvii. 4, 12. 



THE FAILURE AND SUCCESS OF TilE GOSPEL. 301 


tnay not con vert the one you desire to con vert, but yon "yill 
convert another. Yon Inay not succeed in the ,vay or at the 
time you look for, but Jon will succeed in some other "yay 
and at SOlne other tinle. There is nothing w'oll done and 
charitably done for the truth that falls to the ground. God's 
",'ord does not return to IIiln void, but accomplishes the thing 
,vherennto lie sent it. We labor, and other Incn entcr into 
our labors. But the good \vork is done, and the fruits are 
garnered in hea Yen. Be of great hopes, then. You, Iny 
brethren of the priesthood, dare to undertake grcat things for 
the honor of our Lord and the extension of IIis kingdoln. 
Use every Ineans that prudence and charity can suggest to 
gain souls to Christ. In the 1l1orning sow your sccd, and in 
the evening withhold not your hane1. Labor in season and 
out of season. For Sion's sake hold not your hand, and for 
Jerusalem's sake do not rest, until her justice COll1e forth as 
a brightness, and her salvation be ligl}ted as a lamp! And 
you, my brethren of the laity, labor oach in your place, as far 
as lTIay be given yon, in the same ,,,"ork. Blessing must come 
from labor, and re\vard fro In llÍIn ,vho has promised that 
"they th3.t instruct" many to justice shall shine as stars"for 
all etel
nity." 
y.- 
The other lesson ,ve learn is one ,vhich teaches us ho\v to 
guide ourselves in a 'vorld of sin and scandal. It is no un- 
COlnmon thing for lHen to dra\v injury to their o\vn souls frOIn 
the disordera aronnd them, by making them a pretext for 
neglecting their O\Vll salva.tion, or taking a low standarù of 
dnty. One says, there is a lnan \vho does not attend to his 
religi
l1s duties, and makes out of this an excuse for his o\vn 
neglcct. "What is that to thee? Follo,v thou 11e," is the 
ans,ver of Christ. There is another \yho docs go to the 
sacraments, but ,vhose life is disedi(ying. lIe is profane, 
quarrelsome, untruthful, and artful. Perhaps he is guilty of 


* Dan. xü. 3. 



302 'THE FAILURE AND SUCCESS OF THE GOSPEL. 


\vorse sins than these. "'Vhat is that to thee
" is again the 
answ'er: "Fol1o\v thou JJle. My love, 111Y life, my teaching is 
to be the rule of thy conduct, not the doctrines of others." 
Oh! ho\v this cuts the \vay open to a solution of that ques- 
tion with ,vhich ,ve sometimes vex ourselves. Are there few 
or many that \vill be saved 
 There are fe\v if fe\v, many if 
many. Few if few hear and obey, many if nlany hear and 
obey. Wisdoll1 crieth aloud, she uttereth her voice in the 
streets; he that hath ears to hear, let him hear. One hears, 
lays up and ponders in his heart, like Mary, w'hat he hears, 
and becomes a saint. Another hears as one \vho looks in a 
glass and iInmediately forgets what he sa\v reflected in it. 
Here is the distinction which produces election and repro- 
bation, salvation and darnnation. This is the practical ques- 
tion for each one of us: To 'which of these classes do I belong 
 
This is the prayer which ought to be our daily petition: Give 
me, 0 Lord, an understanding heart, to kno\v the things that 
belong to my peace, before they are forever hid froln my 
eyes. Ho\v great the misery of passing through life slothful, 
careless, inattentive, and so losing the heavenly wisdom we 
might learn! How great the happiness of keeping the w'ord 
in a good heart, and bringing forth fruit "\vith patience! 
Those ,vho do this not only secure their salvation, but they 
console Christ for all His cruel sufferings
 for they constitute 
the fruit of IIis Passion, the success of His Gospel, the cro\vn 
of Glory w'hich He recoives froIn the hand of IIis Father, the 
Royal Diadenl which He "\vill ,veal' for all eternity. 



THE ""'ORK OF LIFE. 


303 



Rl\IO:N IX. 


THE "'YORK OF LIFE. 


(
EPTC' AGI:SIMA.) 


U Why stand ye here all the day idlc."--ST. MATT. xx. 6. 


THE parable in to-day"s Gospel i
 intended to describe the 
invitations which God has gi\
en, front, tilne to tiIHe in the 
history of the ",'orId, to \"arions races and peoples, to enter 
the true Ohurch and be saved. But it may be applied by 
analogy to IIis dealings ,vith each individual sonl, and 0111' 
Lord's question in the text Inay be unùerstood by each one uf 
us as aùdressed directly to himself. Taken in this sense, it 
affords instruction and adrnonition, useful at all tilnes, but 
n10re especially suitable on this day, ,vhell the Ohurch first 
strikes the keJTnote of those stirring lessons of personal duty 
and accountabilitr

'hich are to be the burùen of her teach- 
ings through the con1ing season of Lent. 
And, first, it relninds us of that solenlll truth, that ,ve have 
an appointed 
"ork to do on earth. It is difficult for us not 
to be sceptical sometimes on this point. Life is so short and 
uncertain, man is so frail and erring, that it seems strange 
the fe,v years spent here on earth should exert any great in- 
fluence on our eternity. SODle such feeling as this ,vas at 
the bottom of the old idea of heathen philosophy that God 
Joes not concern Hirnself with the affairs of lp.en, that we 
and our doings are of too little consequence to occupy His 
attention. The book of Wisdom well expresses this creed: 
" For we ape born, say they" (that is, the unbelieving)," of 
nothing, and after this we slLall be as if we had not been; and 
our life shall pass away as the trace of a cloud, and shall be 
dispersed as a mist, which is dri'l!en away by the beams of 
the 8un, and overpowered by the heat thereof. And our 



304 


THE WORK OF LIFE. 


name in time shall be forgotten: and no man shall llave any 
1'en
elnb}'>ance oj." our works." oX. But such a view of life does 
not agree either ,vith reason or revelation. God, being In- 
finite 1Visdoln, must have an end in every thing ,vhich He 
created. If it ,vas not beneath IIiln to create, it. cannot be 
beneath Him to govern His creatures; and reason and free 
,viII must have been given to His rational creatures to guide 
them to their end. It is absurd to suppos
 a moral and in- 
tellectual being ,vithout a la\v and a destiny. And revelation 
confirms this decision of reason. It seems as if the Bible 
were \vri tten, in great part, to dispel the notion that God is a 
rnere abstraction, and to exhibit Hilll to us as a personal God, 
interfering in His creation, giving to each created thing its 
place, and taking note of its operation. In the pages of 
Scripture the ,vorld is not a chance ,yorld, ,vhere every thing 
is doubt and confusion; but an orderly ,vorld, \vhere every 
thing has its place. It is a vineyard, into which laborers are 
sent to gather the harvest. It is a house, in \vhich each part 
has its order and use. It is a body, in \vhich each men1ber 
shares the COllllnon life, and contributes to it. It is a school, 
in ,vhich each scholar is learning a special lesson. It is a 
kingdonl, in \vhich citizen is bound to the other ill relations 
of duty or authority. Yes, God has left a ,vide field for the 
free exercise of human choice and will. The pursuits of rnen, 
their studies, their pleasures, may be infinitely varied at their 
,vill; but not to have a mission from IIeaven, not to have a 
,vork to do on earth, not to be created by God with a special 
vocation-this is not possible for 111an. lIe is too honorable 
and great. The Ìlnage of God, which is traced on his soul, 
is too deep and enduring; his relation to God is too direct 
and Ìlnmediate. No lnan can live unto hilllself, and no Dlan 
can die unto hi III self. Each lnan that conles into the world 
is but an agent sent by God on a sJ?ecial elnbassy. And each 


* Wisdom ii. 2-4. 



TilE "?ORK OF LIFE. 



03 


Inan that dies, but goes back to give an account of its per- 
formance. 
Do not accuse me of saddening and depressing you by thus 
covering luan's life, from tbe cradle to the grave, "yith the 
pall of accountability. If God ,,"ere 3. tyrant, if lie reâped 
where TIe did not sow, if lIe exacted what ,vas beyond our 
3trcngth, if IIis service did not mal\:c us happy, if in IIis 
judgment of our actions lie did not take into account the 
circumstances of each one, his opportunities, his ignorances, 
and even his frailties, then, indeed, tho thought of our ac- 
countability ,vould be a dreadful and depres
illg one. But 
while our l,Iaster and Judge is a God whose compassion is as 
great as llis power, '\vhose service is our highest satisfaction, 
who kno,ys whereof we are made, and who in IIis judgment 
. remembers lnercy, the thought that each one of us has an ap- 
pointed work to do is not only an incentive to duty, but the 
secret of happiness. There is nothing plcasant in a life with- 
out responsibility. Rest, indeed, is pleasant, but rest implies 
labor that bas gone before, and it is the labor that makes the 
rest sw.cet. "TllP sleep of a laboring 'Jnan is 8weet," says the 
Holy Scripture. But a life all rest, '\vith nothing special to 
do, '\vithout aim, w.ithout obligation, is a life without bonoI' 
and without peace. They who spend their time in rushing 
from one amusement to another are con1llionly listless and 
wretched at heart, and seek only to forget in excitement the 
weariness and disappointment ,vithin. God has 111ade the la,v, 
" In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread," medicinal 
as well as vindicative. "\Vhen, then, you tell me that this 
world is not my all; that I have an iUlll10rtal destiny, that 
life is a preparation for it; that the infinite truth is mine to 
know, the infinite beauty mine to possess; that I have a nlis- 
sion to fulfil; sin to conquer; duties to perform; merits to 
acquire; an account to render; you tell me tllat which indeed 
1nakes my conscience thrill ,vith a,ve, but '\vhich, at the same 
time, takes i]J the meanness, the emptiness, the littleness out 



B06 


THE 'VORK OF LIFE. 


of life, covers it with glory, blends it with heaven, expands 
the sou1, and fills it 'with hope and joy. 
o truth too little known! Religion is not meant to be 
only a solace in affliction, a help in temptation, a refuge 
when the world fails us. All these it is, but much more. It 
is the business and employment. of life. It is the task fOr 
which we were born. It is the work for which our life if, 
prolonged from day to day. It is the consecration of my 
whole being to God. It is to realize that wherever I am, 
,vhatever I do, I am the child of God, doing Ilis \viII, and 
extending Ilis kingdom on earth. This is the secret of life. 
This is the meaning of the ,vorld. This is God's ,yay of lool{- 
ing at the world. As He looks down from heaveI;l, all other dis- 
tinctions among men vanish, distinctions of nationality, differ- 
ences of education, differences of station, and wealth, and influ- 
ence, and only one distinction remains-the distinction bei,veen 
the righteous and the wicked, betw.een him that serveth God 
and him that serveth Him not. When ,ye look at the ,vorld, 
it dazzles us by its greatness, and overpowers us by its multi- 
plicity. It is so eager and restless. It is so Î1nportunate and over- 
bearing. IIere is the secret which disenchants us from its spell. 
The ,vorld is not for itself. It is not its o,vn end. It is but the 
:field of human probation. It is but the theatre on ,vhich 
men are exercising each day their highest faculty, the power 
of free ,vill. It is the scene of the great struggle between 
good and evJl, between heaven and hell, the battle that be- 
gan when "Michael and his angels fought with the dragon" 
and the dragon fought and his angels." 

 Into this arena 
each generation has entered, one after another, to show their 
valor. Once the saints of whom we read in the Bible and 
"" 
the history of the Church were upon the earth, and it .was 
their turn, and heaven and earth were ,vatching them. They 
did their work well. So penetrated were they with the great 
thought of eternity that some of them, like Abraham, left 


* Apoc. xii. 7 



THE "\VORK OF LIFE. 


307 


home anù kindred, anù ,vent out not kno"ing ,,'hither they 
wcnt; and others, like the mart.rrs, gave thcir hearts' blood 
for a sacrifice. .A.nd there were others who were not saints, 
for thcJ? w.cre not called to deeds of heroism, but they ,vere 
good men, who in sinlplicity of heart fulfilled each duty, anù 
served God ,vith clean hands and pure hcart:s. And penitent
 
have come in their turn. Once they ,vere unwise, and the 
world deceived them, and they follow.ed their own will, but 
afterward they turned to God, and redeelned their former sins 
by a true penance, and died in the number of those who 
overcame the Wicked One. And now it is our turn. There 
are many adversaries. All things are ready. ..The herald 
has called our name. .j.\.nd as the prÜnitive martyrs, con- 
delnned to the ,vild beasts in the amphitheatre, nerved them- 
selves for the encounter by the thought of the thousand spec- . 
tators ranged around, so to animate our courage let us give 
heed to the sympathizing ,,?itnesses who watch our strife, and 
who cry to us ii"om heaven and from earth: Be valiant! Do 
, 
battle for the right! Acquit you like men! Be strong! 
And again, as our Lord's ,vords in the te"\:t ren1ind I1S that 
,ve have an appointed ,vork to do, they remind us also that 
,ve have an al10tted time to do it in. All men fickno,vledge 
tb
t religion is a thing to be attended to. But ,vhen? Some 
semn to think that it is enough to attend to religion at Eas- 
ter and Christmas, and that at other times it may be left 
alone. 80n1e at still more distant intervals, when the time 
bas been too long, and tbe number of sins too great, and the 
burden on the conscience too heavy. Others propose to at- 
tend to it in the leisure of old age, or just before they leave 
this ,vor1d. .And very many imagine that, if a luan actually 
Inakes his peace ,vith God at any tilne before he dies, there 
is not luuch to be regretted. IIow different is God's inten- 
tion in this lnatter ! ".1JIan goeth forth, to his work and to 
his labor 'until the evening." Think of a day-laborer. lie 
rises very early in the morning, in the ,vinter, long before it 



308 


THE 'YORK OF LIFE. 


is light, and goes off to his \vork. He works all day until 
the evening, pausing only at noon, ,,
hen he seeks some hol- 
lo\v in the rock, or the shelter of some overhanging shrub, to 
protect hin1 ii-on1 the cold or the heat, \" hile he eats his fru- 
gal dinner. Now, it is after this pattern that God wishes us 
to \vork out our salvation. The Christian should \vork fronl 
the morning till the evening, from the beginning of life to 
the end of it. There is not a day that God does not claim 
for his o\vn. There, is not an hour over ,\
hich He has re- 
signed IIis sovereignty. A lnan ,vho perfectly fulfils his 
duty begins to serve God early in the lnorning. In the morn- 
ing of life, in early youth, when the de"rdrops sparkle in the 
sunshine, and the birds sing under the leaves, and the fio,v- 
ers are in their fresh bloonl and fragrance, and every thing 
is full of keen enjoyu1ent, there is a lo,v, s\veet voice that 
speaks to the soul of the happy boy: "jJly son, give me tllY 
lteart." And he heeds that voice. It is tin1e for first com- 
runnion, and he has leave to go. lie does not kno\v fully the 
n1caning of the act. It is too great and deep. But he kno\ys 
that he is Inaking choice of God. He knows that God is 
very near hiIn, and he is v'try happy. By and by the time 
has COlne for confirlnation. The candidates stand before the 
bishop, and see, that boy is among the nun1ber. He is chqngeel 
from what he was. lIe has gro\vn to be a youth no\v. IIe 
is Inore thoughtful and reserved. He kllO\VS now \vhat ternp- 
tation Ineans; he has seen the shado,v of sin; he has caught 
the tones of the ,vodel's song of pleasure; but he does not 
""aver; he is bold and resolute for the right, and he is con1e 
to fortify hÍlnself for the conflict of life by the special grace 
of the Ahnjghty. And no,v time goes on, and he passes 
through the ITIOst dangerous part of life: he is a young man, 
he goes into business, he 111arries. There are times of fierce 
ten1ptation, there are tin1es ,v hen the objects of faith seeIH 
all to fade a\vay fi-on1 his mind, there are tÍlues \vhen it seenlS 
as if the only good was the enjoyment of this "wor1d, but 



THE WORK OF LIFE. 


309 


prayer and vigilance and a fixed ,vill carry hilll through, and 
he passes the lllOst critical period of life ,vithout any griev- 
ous stain on his soul. Thus passes the noonday of his life, 
· and be comcs to its declinc. It dr
n\eth to,vard cvening. 
The shado,vs are getting long. The SUll and the light and 
the rnoon are gro,ving dark, and the clouds return after the 
raIn. He is an old man and feehlc, but there he is ,,-ith thc 
same heart he gave to God in youth; he has never rccalled 
the offering. He has been true to his faith, true to his proln- 
ises, true to his conscience, and at the hour of death he can 
sing his Nunc dhnittis, and go to the judgmcnt seat of Christ · 
humbly but confidently to clailn the re
.ard of a true and faith- 
ful ser,.ant. Beautiful picture! Life to be cnvied! .A.life spent 
w'Ïth God, oyer ,vhich the devil bas never had any real po,vcr. 
But you tell me this is a mere fancy picture; no one Ii yes 
such a life. I tell you this is the life God intended you and. 
I sholÙd live. There l}ave been men ,vho have lived such lives, 
though, indeed, they are not many. But the number is not 
so small of those ,vho approximate to it. Even snppose a 
Dlan falls into nlortal sin, and more than once, all is not lost. 
Suppose him, in SaIne hour of telnptation, to cast off his 
allegiance to God, an'd in his discouragement to look upon 
a life of virtue as a dream; yet, if such a one gathers np his 
lllanhood, if in humble ackno.wledgment of his sin he returns 
with new courage to take his place in the Christian race, 
such a Inan recovers not only tbe friendship of God, but the 
merits of his past obedience. There is a process of restor- 
ation in grace as ,veIl as in nature. Penance has po,yer to 
heal the wounds and knit over the gaps ,vhich sin has Inadc. 
What does the Holy Scripture say 
 "I w.Ul restore to you 
tlw years wldcll- tlM3 locust, and the canker-worm, and the 1í
il- 
,d,ew, and tlte palmer-worln l
atlb eaten."* l\Iany a man's 
1ife, ,vhich lUts not been ,vithont sin, has yet a character of 
continuity and a uniform tending to,vard God. I believe 
* Joel ü. 25. 



310 


THE WORK OF LIFE. 


there u.re many "who have this kind of perfection. They can- 
not say, "I have not sinned," for they have had bitter 
experience of their own frailty; but they can õay, "I 
have sinned, but I have not lnade sin a law to me. 
I have not allo,yed Inyself in sin, or withdrawn Inyself 
fI:om Thy obedience. I have not gone baclnvard from 
Thee. I have- fallen, but I have risen again. 0 Lord, Thon 
hast been Iny hope, even from Iny yonth, fronl my youth un- 
til now, until old age and gray hairs." 
And now, my brethren, if w'e try our past li"es and our 
present conduct by t
le thought of tbe work we have to do on 
earth and the persevering attention we onght to pay to it, do 
,ve 110t find Inatter for alann 
 and does not' our Lord's ques- 
tion 
onvey t9 us the keenest reproach 
 "Why stand ye 
here all the day idle 
" Yes, idle; that is tbe ,vord. There 
is all tLe difference in the ,vorld between committing a sin in 
the tiulc of ßevere temptation, for ,vhich we are after,vard 
hearti1y sorry, and doing nothing for our salvation. .L\.nd is 
not this our crÏ1ne, that woe are idlers and triflers in religion 
 
"\Vhat have our past liyes been 
 What years spent in 
neglect, or oven in sin 
 "\Vhat long periods of utter forget 
fulness of God? What loss of tinle 
 What excessive anxiety 
about this ,vorld 
 What devotion to pleasure 
 And are 
,ve no,v really doing any thing for heaven 
 Are ',e re
lly 
redeeming the .past by a true penance 
 Are ,ye diligent in 
prayer, watchful against temptation, ,vatchful of the COIn. 
rany ,ve keep, w'atchful of the influence ,ve exert, ,vatchful 
o\
er our tenlpers, ,vatchful to fulfil our duties, ,vatchful 
against habits of sin 
 Are ,ve living the lives God intended 
us to live 
 Can ,ve say, "I aIll fulfilling the requirelnents 
Qf lny conscience, in the standard which I propose to n)Jself
" 
Ah! is not this our misery, that ,ve have left off striving 
 
that ,ve are doing nothing, or at least nothing serious and 
\vorthy of our salvation 
 " Why stand ye all the day idle
" 
All the day. Thne is going. Time that Inight have Inado 



THE WORK OF LIFE. 


811 


us holy, time that has sanctified so tuany others ,vho set Oil 
,vith us in life, is gone, never to return. The future is uncer- 
tain; ho,v In Heh of the day of life is left to us we kno'\v not 
And graces have been squandered. No doubt, as long as we 
live "9
 shall have sufficient grace to turn to God, if we ,vill; 
but we kno,v not 'what ,vc do, when we squander those 
special graces ,vhieh God gives us now and then through 
life. The tender heart, the generous purpose that ,ve had in 
youth; the fervor of our first conversion; the kind ,varn. 
ings and admonitions of friends long dead; these have all 
passed away. Oh, ,vhat opportunities have ,ye thrown away! 
'That n1pans of grace misused! " Why stand yo all the day 
idle?" You cannot say, "No man hath hired us." God has 
not left rou to the light of natural reason alone, to find out 
your destiny. In baptism lie has plainly marked out for you 
your ,york. ..L\.nd nO\\9 in reproachful tones lIe speaks to your 
conscience: "Creature of IUY hand, ,vhon1 I made to setve 
and glori(y lue ; purchase of Iny blood, 'VhOlll I bought to love 
me; heir of heaven, for ,vhose fidelity I have prepared an 
eternal reward, why is it that you resist Iny ,viII, ,vithstand 
Jour o,vn conscience and reason, despise my blood, and 
thro,v a,,:,ay Jour o,vn happiness?" 
But the ,vords of Christ are riot only a reproach, but an 
invitation. "Why stand ye here all the day idle
" It is not, 
then, too late. God does nothing in vain; and when He 
calls us to IIis service, lIe pledges hÎlnself that the-necessar'y 
graces shall not be ,vanting, nor the pron1ised reward fail. 
Church history is fun of beautiful instances of sonls that, 
after long neglect, recovered thenlselves by a fervent 
penanc4}. Some even, ,vho are high in the Church's Calendar 
of Saints, had the neglect and sin of years Ùpon their con- 
sciences ,vhen they Legan. There is only one unpardonable 
sin, and that is to put off conyer
ion until it is too late. As 
long as God calls, you can hearken and be saved. To-day, 
then, once more He calls. TO-,day, once more the trn.Tl1pet- 


. 


. 



312 


THE CHURCH'S ADMONITION 


blast of penance sounds in your ears. Another Lent is com- 
ing, a season of penance and prayer. Prepare yourself for 
that holy season by examination of your conscience. Refuse 
no longer to ,vork in the Lord's vineyard. Offer no more 
excuses; Inake no more delay. Work ,vhile it is called to- 
day, that ,vhen the evening conIes, and the Lord gives to the 
laborers their hire, JOu lnay be found a faithful workman, 
" that needeth not to be ashamed." 


. 


SERMON X. 


THE CHURCH'S ADMONITION TO THE INDIVIDUAL SOUL. 


(ASU-WEDNESDAY.) 


"Take heed to thyself."-l TIM. IV. 16. 


THE services of the Church to-day are very impressive. 
The matter of her teaching is not different from usual. The 
shortness of life, the certainty of judgn1ent, the necessity of 
faith and repentance, are n10re or less the topics of her teach- 
ing at all tÍlnes of the year. But this teaching is ordinarily 
given to the assembled congregation, to çro,vds, to multi- 
tudes. But to-day she speaks to us as individuals. She 
summons us, one by one, young and old, and, as ,ve kneel 
before her, she says to us, while she scatters dust on our 
foreheads, "Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return." 
It is in this individual and pcrsonal character of her ,yarning 
that I find its special significance and impressiveness. There 
is no luistaking ,vhat she means. "Rmnernber, 0 man, tbat 
thou art dust, and unto dust shalt thou return." She separ- 
ates each one of us from all others, and gives her nlcssage to 
hin1 in particular. It is an emphatic rnode of conveying St. 
Paul's admonition to St. Timothy: "Take heed to thyself." 



'1'0 THE INDIVIDUAL SOUL. 


313 


If we take only the sound of the ,vords, it Inight seem thàt 
no such adlnonition was necessary. For, in one sense, Inen 
attend to theInsel \'es quite enough. But, in fact, there is 
Jnorc than one self in a lnan. There is the self that is lnade 
up of our passions, our failingb and disgusts, our cOlnforts 
and conveniences: this is the self that speaks so loudly in 
the heart, and obtrudes itself 4160 disagreeably on others. 
This, when indulgeð, is ,vhat we call selfishness, and this it . 
is \vhich it is one 
nain object of religion to repress. But 
there is another self in a luan, his true and noble self, that 
self which makes him an individual being, ,vhich asserts 
itself most distinctly in that part of his soul where it comes 
into closest contact with God, namely, his conscience. ....:\..nd 
this self it is very possible for men to forget. A 
an may 
be a priest and have the care of souls, and be employed iTJ 
preaching and administering the sacraments, or he lnay ùe 
a bishop, and live an active life in governing his church, and 
yet he may forget himself in this sense. St. Tirnothy 
"as no 
bishop, a sbarer in apostolic character and apostolic gifts, 
aud yet St. Paul did not think it unnecessary to give hiln 
the warning of the text. IIow must, then, a man forget 
himself whose occupation is lTIOre secular? Tell lTIe: those 
eager crowds one meets with in the streets, hurr.ying hither 
and thither, do :rou think each one of these realizes that in 
some sense there is no otheI'in the world but God and he 
 
Or in a crowded church, on Sunday, when the preacher, in 
God's name, is enforcing this duty, or denouncing tbat vice, 
that woman sitting in the pew, that lTIan standing in the 
aisle, does he, does she realize that the words are spoken to 
them individually, that it is a lesson they are to lay to 
leart- 
to practise 
 No! I must say \vhat I think, that there are 
some who pass through life, from the cradle to the grave, 
almost without ever once fully awakening to their own selt:. 
consciousness; to their own individual eÃistence, apart from 
tbe world around them; and their own individual relations to 
14 . 



314 


THE CHURCH'S ADMONITION 


God. A man Inay even practise his religion, lnay kno"r a great 
deal about it, may talk about it, may listen to every word of the 
sermon in the church, rnay say his night prayers, may even gc 
through sorne kind of a confession and comlTIunion, without 
fully awaking to these things. Paradoxical as it may seeln, I 
believe that there are not a few lnen, ,vho, of aU persons in the 
,vorld of whom they have any knowledge, are on terms of 
the slightest and most distant acquaintance with themselves. 
And I will give you one proof that this is true. You 
know how troubled many Inen are in sickness, or on a sleep- 
less night, or in ti1'Des of great calamit.y. Some persons are 
greatly troubled in a storm, when the thunder roHs over their 
heads, and the lightning flashes in their eyes. Now, of course, 
nervousness, physical causes, lnental la,vs, and social con- 
siderations, may enter lnore or Jess into the production of this 
uneasiness, but is there not very often something deeper than 
any of these? Is it not something that the lnan has done 
yesterday, or last week, or last year, and that he has never 
set right; some unjust transaction, some evil deed, some act 
of gross neglect of duty, some miserable passion cherished, 
some impure words spoken, SOlne cruelty or shrinking from 
what is right, or falsehood, or lnischief-rnaking. It is not a 
matter of imagination. It is not fancy, but fact. He re- 
members but too well; he knows when it was done, and all 
the consequences of it, every thing comes up distinctly. lIe 
shuts his eyes, but he cannot shut it out. Yon know the 
clock ticks all day long; amid the various cares of the day 
you do not hear it, but oh, how distinct and loud it is at 
night when your ear catches it. Did you ever have an 
aching tooth, which you could jU5t manage to bear during 
the excitement of the day, but which began to throb and 
become intolerable when all was still at night, and you had 
gone to bed 
 So the uneasiness I have denoted is a rea] 
pain of the soul, which we manage to' keep down and forget, 
1)1" deaden, during our seasons of business aM enterprise. but 



TO THE I
DIVIDUAL SOUL. 


81õ 


ín hours of loneliness and danger lnakcs itself felt. And 
what does this sho'\\ but that JOU do not attend to Jour real 
self; tbat there is 80111e dark corner of yonr heart in "dlÍch 
you fear to look. 1
 on keep the ,.eil do".u, Lecause yon 
know there is a skeleton behind it and yon are afraid ÌfJ 
look at it. And so yon go through life, playing a part, 
something that you are not, w.ith smiles on your lips and 
honeyed ,vords in your mouth, laughing and jesting, eating 
and drinking and sleeping, working and trading, going in 
and out, paJing visits and receiving then1, seeking adrr1Îra- 
tion and flattering others, while all the ,vhile, deep down in 
your soul, there is that nameless something, that grief like 
lead in the botton1 of your heart, tbat wound that Jon are 
afraid to probe, or 
to uncover, or even to acknowledge. 
And now, it is this deceitful way in which men deal \vith 
themselves, this forgetfulness of then1selves, that lnakes death 
and judglnent so terrible. Death brings out the individual- 
ity of tbe soul in the lTIOst distinct light. Every thing that 
hides us from ourselves shall then be re1l1oved, every ,eil 
and shred torn away, and only ourselves shall remain. A 
well-known "Triter has expressed this in a few' short "Tords : 
"I sball die alone;" and the saIne thought is suggested 
by the language of the Gospel in reference to the end of 
the ,,,"orld: "Two nlen shall be in tbe field, one shall be 
taken and the other left. T\vo WOJnen shall be grinding at 
the mill, one shall be taken and the other left." One shall 
be taken, and he shall be taken alone-out of all tbe sur- 
roundings which llave enveloped hiln here like an atInos- 
phere, and into wl1Ích he has been fitted like a long-,vorn 
garment. When our first parents heard the voice of the 
Lord God calling to them in the garden after the fall, they 
hid themselves, and Adam said: "I was afraid, because I 
was naked, and I hid myself." So will it be ,vhen the soul 
stands "before God in. its nakedness, ashamed because of its 
guilty self-consciousness. . So it ,,,,as with the rich man in our 



316 


THE CHURCH'S AD:MONITION 


Lord's parable. He lived like the l11ultitnde. He had four 
brothers, and they ,vere all alike. They had heard the ser- 
mons of Moses and the Prophets, but little did they think it 
all 'concerned theln. But at last one of theln died, and then 
he woke up to himself. His life is all before him. " Thou in 
thy lifetime receivedst thy good tbings." That ,vas the story 
of it. He sees it all no,v: be sees what a glutton, ,vhat a 
proud, hardhearted, avaricious n1an he had been; be sees "hat 
a creature of sensuality and self-indulgence he is. V cry dif- 
ferent is his judgment of hin1self now, froln wbat it ,vas .when, 
in his purple robes, he revelled in his banqueting-ha1l, the 
air heavy with perfulne, and the table flo\ving ,vith silver 
and flo,,
ers, and the slaves Lringing in. the costly dishes, 
,vhile Lazarus, tbe beggar, sat at his gates, full of sores, . 
and hungering for tbe crumbs that íèll frOln his table. 
And so it ,\
ill be \vith us: awakened to a full consciousness 
that our relations to God are the only reality. Stripped of 
all the circlul1stances that deceived and misled and blinded 
us here; "with conscience fully a,vakened, with aU the conse- 
quences of sin open before me and all its guilt manifest; I 
shall be brought face to face "\vith Inyself, .with "7hat I anI, 
with what I have been, w"ith what I have done, ,vith my sins, 
::ind IHY self-\vill, and IllY pride. Yes, this is the real terror 
,. 
of death and judgment. We think its fearfulness will be in 
the fro,vning Judge, and the throne set alnid thunder and 
Jightnings. Dh, no! the Judge does 
ot fro,vn, He is cahn 
and serene. He sits radiant in beauty and grace. " 'Vhen 
these things begin to come to pass," sa'ys the evangelist, 
speaking of the signs of the end of the ,,,'orld, "then look 
up and lift up Jour heads, for your redemption dra\veth 
nigh." No! Christ is not transported "with anger. lIe is 
always the saIne; but the way of I-lis coming is different .as 
they to ,vhOln He comes are diffe

ent. The object is 
unchanged, but the medium through ,ybich we yiew it 
will be different. There shall be" an apparition of terror to 



TO TIlE INDIYIDU AL SOUL 


317 


the 'wicked, but it ,vill not be Christ, it \\Till be thclnsel \Tes. 
The face of Christ shall be a n1irror tn ,\'hich each Ulan 
shall see hilnself. Young lnan, after your career of vice and 
profligacy, JOu shall see yourself, the Inoral lepei. that yon 
are. There the e
tortioner, the fraudulent merchant, shall 
see hilnself as he is, the unconvict(\d thief and robber; there 
tbe unfaithfQI husband or \vife sha11 see thel11se1 ves branded 
,vith the mark that tells their shame. The proud \VOlllan 
s11a11 see there the deep stains of her soul in all their 1lack
 
neSE>, and her worldly, guilty heart, alllaiù bare. 0 sight of 
piercing anguish! "0 hills and lllountains fall on us, anù 
cover us, and hide us from the ,,'rath of God and of the 
Lalnb." But no, it is not fronl the \v1'ath of God and of the 
LaInb, that \ve need to be llidden, it is fron1 oursol Yes. 
'Vhich 'way I fly is hell, myself am hell. A lost desti"ny, an 
existence bestowed in vain. .L\. life passed as a drealTI; 
capacities for happiness never used; graces refused; tilne 
gone; opportunity lost; not nlerely a la,v broken, a punish
 
ment inflicted; but I, In:yself, ,vith nlY supernatural grace 
and destiny-I, \vith aU my lofty hopes and powers-I, 
ruined and crushed forever: that is the hopeless, boundless 
misery. This is the sore affiiction of the guilty after death; 
and it is the dread of this disn1ay that keeps thee trembling 
a11 thy life. But, on the other hand, for a Inan to face hÜn- 
self, to excite himself to a consciousness of his own indi vid- 
uality, and to a fulfilment of his own personal obligation to 
God, is tbe way to a peaceful and happy life. The Scripture 
uses a notable expression when describing the return of the 
prodigal: "lIe carne to hilnself;" and in our ordinary 
language, ,vhen w'e wish to express the idea of a lnan's seri- 
ously reflecting on his destiny and duty, \,e say he enters into 
himself. These expressions are full of significance. They 
teach us tbat sOlnething is to be done that no one can do for 
us. Others can help us here, but each one för hÎInself Innst 
make his own individual and personal election sure. Each must 



818 


THE CIIURCH'S ADMONITION 


go de \
 n into his o,vn heart, search out aU the dark corners, 
repeut of its sins, resibt its passions, direct its ainls and 
desires. It is not a work done in a day. It is sOlnetinles a 
difficult work. There are times in ,vhich it pierces to the very 
quick of our sensitive being, but it is the real and only way 
to true peace. And oh! it is true and living peace when the 
soul in its deepest centre is anchored to God; ,vhen nothing 
is covered over, nothing kept from IIis sight. There luay be 
iInperfections, there may be sins and repentances, but there 
must be, ,vhen such a course is habitual, a true and growing 
peace. Do not look abroad, my brethren, for your happiness. 
It is to be found in yourselves. Happy he who knows the 
meaning of tbat word: "My God and I." This is to walk 
with God like Abraham. Of this man the Almighty says, 
as he did of Jacob, "I have kno"\vn thee by thy naInc." His 
relations to God are not Inerely those general ones that grow 
out of creation and redeluption: to him God is his life, his 
very being, the soul of his soul. 
To-day, IllY brethren, if I have led your thoughts in the 
direction I bave wished, you see that each onc of you has a 
great work to do, that he nlust do hilTIself. It 'v ill not do 
for you that you have had a pious mother or a good ,vife. It 
is not enough that some one around yon, ,vha lives near you, 
or sits near you in the church, is a .good Christian. It is not 
enough that you arc a Catholic, one of the vast body of be- 
lievers in the world. Religion is a personal, individual 
thing. All other men in the ,vorld Inay stand or fall: that 
does not affect Jon. Each one of us has his own independent 
position before God. If you are one of a family, if you live 
in a house ,yith others, or ,york in a rOOln ,vith many COlTI- 
panions, if you are one of a gang of laborers, or a clerk in 
an office ,vhere many others are employed, or a scholar in a 
school where there are many others of your age, there is a 
circle around you that separates you from each one of JonI' 
companions. If you were to die to-night, your sentence 



TO THE INDIVIDUAL SOUL. 


819 


would be different froln that of every other. It Inight be 
contrary to those of aU the others. They n1Ïght be friends of 
God, and JOu IIis only enemy. .And the diftèrcnce \yonld be 
not ii'om any outward cause, but from yourself. ,. I shall sce 
God," says the prophet, "whO'l11J I myself shall see, and 1ìZY 
eyes shall behold and not another." * .A.nd now, if your 
conscience tells you that there is something unsatisfactory in 
your character, something sinful in your conduct, it is for 
you to set it right, and to do it ,vithout delay. It is the first 
duty of Lent. The forty days of grace and penance are given 
for redeeming our sins and saving our souls. What, then, 
should be each one's resolution? I will enter into myself, 
not we \"fill do this, or I ,vill do it if my friend docs, but I, 
myself, I ,vill enter into myself. I w
ll ask myself \vhat this 
strange, Inysterious life of mine in earnest means, and 
whether I anl to-day advancing to Iny destiny. I \vill break 
off my sins, and I will pray. It is ill prayer that I shall 
understand my duty. It is in God that I shall find Inyself. 
The solelnn \vords of the Church shall not be uttered in vain 
for me: "TholÎ art dust, and unto dust thou shalt return." 
How n1any have heard that warning and are llO\V no morc. 
The young bave died, the old, the piuns, the careless, the 
rich, and the poor, and each has gone to his own place, the 
place and portion fitted to his deeds and his character. Per- 
haps it will not be very long before these words will be verified 
in me. The Mass shall be said for Ule, the holy ,vater 
sprinkled over Iny lifeless form. What shall it then profit 
me what others have said in Iny favor or against me 
 1 
shall be simply what I am before God. "What sl
all it 
profit a man to gain the wll.ole 'world and lose Ids own soul 1" 
"I 8!l,allsee God, wllom I 'lnyself shall see, and my eyes shall 
behold and not anothe'p." 


* Job xix. 21. 
NOTE -This appears to be the last sermon which F. Baker wrote. It was 
preached on the evening of the Ash-Wednesday before his death, as the first of 
the Lenten Course of Sermons. 


... 



320 


THE NEGLIGENT CHRISTIAN. 


SER1\ION XI. 


THE NEGLIGENT CHRISTIAN. 


(THIRD SUNDAY IN LE
T.) 


"He that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me, 
scattereth."-ST. LUKE XI. 23. 


THERE are many seeds planted in the groun
 that never 
con1e up. There is a great deal of fruit on the trees that 
never COlnes to ripeness. So among Christians there is a 
great deal of good that al \vays renlains incomplete and in- 
adequate. 'Vho of us has not seen such? Who of us does 
not kno'w such? They have some faith, soma religion, but 
they bring no fruit to perfection. N O\V, \vhat is tbe blight 
that destroys all their goodness 1 It is sloth, negligence, 
tepidity, call it wbat you ,vill. Religion influences them, 
but docs not control them. They do not reject it, but they 
do not obey it, at least consistently and in principle. They 
are languid Christians. They are not the ,vorst, but they 
are not good. They seek with eagerness the pleasures of 
the world, and make no conscience of avoiding smaller sins, 
even ,vb en wilful and deliberate. They neglect tbe means 
of grace, prayer, sennons, and sacraments, with but little 
scruple, or approach them carelessly. They allow themselves 
a close familiarity with evil, dally with temptation, and now 
and then fall into mortal sin. So they go through life, con- 
scious that they are living an unsatisfactory life, but making 
no vigorous efforts. to better it. It is of such men tbat I 
,vould speak this morning; and I propose to sho\v ho\v dis- 
pleasing this negligence of our salvation is to God, and how 
dangerous it is to ourselves. 
The negligent Christian displeases God because he does 



THE NEGLIGEXT CHRISTIAX 


321 


not fulfil the end for \vhich he \vas created. 'VLat is the 
end for \vhieh God crèateù llS? Qertuinly it is 110t for our- 
selves, for Leforc God created ns \YO \vere not. and eould not 
have been the end for ".hieh lie 111:.1.ÙC us. IIc 11111:"t hayc 
nlade ns for H
Inself, for Iris glory. Yes, this is the end 
for \vhich He does cyery thing, for IIinlsclf. Fron1 the very 
fact that ,,"e are created, our end 111USt be to loyp anù serve 
God. We are bound, then, to love and ser,
e God, and \ve 
are bound to do it \vith perfection and alacrity. 'Vhat kind 
of creature is that \vhich renders to God a rcluctant and 
inlperfect service 
 Suppose a king "'"ere to appoint a day 
to receive-the hOinage of his subjects, and 'while he "'"as hold- 
ing his court.. anç1 one after another \vas cOIning forward to 
kiss his 11and or bend the knee, some one, ill-attired, anù ".ith 
slovenly den1eanor, should approach and Offèl" a heedless 
reverence. 'V ould it not be taken as an act of conteInpt 
and an offence 
 Now, God is our ICing, and lie holds a 
levee every morning and invites the creation to rene,v its 
homage. The \vorld puts on its Lest array. The snn COlliCS 
forth as a bridegroonl out of his chalnber, 
nd rejoiceth as n, 
giant to run his course. The 1l10untains and hills clothe 
then1selves in blue, and the trees put on their robes of green. 
The birùs sing, and the waters move and sparkle. Holy and 
Inunble lnen of heart rise from their beds to enter on their 
daily course of duty and of prayer, ,vhile \vithin the veil the 
spirits of the just and tbe ten thousand times ten thousand 
angels bo,v before the Throne of I-lim that Ii yeS forever. 
And no,,,," in this great Act of Praise, this ceaseless sacrifice 
that creation is offering to its Maker, there comes in the 
negligent Christian, cold, distracted, and unprepared to take 
his part. lIe does not kneel down to pray. He goes to \vor1-:- 
without a blessing. He does not think of God. Nay, in 
His very presence says and does ullseemly things. Oh! is 
he not a blot on the scene 
 Is not his presence an offence 
 
In the Old Testament, God complains of the J e,vish priests 
14* 



822 


THE NEGLIGENT CHRISTIAN. 


because they brought to Him the halt and the blind and the 
sick for sacrifice. lIe says: "Offer it 1l0'W to thy prince, 
will lLe be pleased with it, or \vill lw regard thy face
" * 
So in like lllanner, negligent Christian, God complains of 
)"ou. You bring to I-lin1 a "lalne sacrifice," those feet of 
thine that stumble so often in the ,yay of justice; a" blind" 
and" sick sacrifice," that heart of thine, so fond of the world 
and so \veak in the love of God. 
Yos, God requires of us all fervor and perfection-of each 
one of us. It is a great mistake to suppose that perfection 
is required only of priests or religious; it is required of every 
one. We are not all required to seek perfection in the same 
way. The married seek it in one way, the unmarried in an- 
other. The man of business seeks it one way, the recluse in 
another. But everyone is required to seek it in such way 
as accords ,vith his state in life. "That is a faithful serv- 
ant," says St. Gregory, " who preserves every day, to the end 
of hIs life, an inexbaustible fervor, and who never ceases to 
add fire to fire, ardor to ardor, desire to desire, and zeal to 
zeal." Our own hearts tell us this when they are really un- 
der the influence of the Spirit of God. Take a man at his 
first conversion, either to the faith or to a good life, and how 
fervent he is! It is not enough for him to come to Mass al- 
wa:rs on a Sunday, he will come 110W and then on a week. 
day. It is not enough for hirn to keep from what is sinful, 
he 'will not allow himself all that is innocent. He docs not 
think of bargaining with God. This is his thought-that 
God is All, and he is a creature, and that God deserves his 
best, his all. By-and-by, alas! as he becomes unfaithful, 
another spirit comes over him.. He asks: "Is this binding 
under mortal sin 
 That duty is irksome; is it a great Inat- 
tel' if I omit it no,v and then
" God tells us what he 
thinks of such a man in the parable of the Talents. When 


* Mal. L 8. 



THE NEGLIGENT CHRISTIAN. 


323 


the Lord came to reckon with his servants, he that had re- 
ceived one talent came and said, "LoJyl, 1 kno?JJ tllat t!tou' art 
a hard man,. tlLou reapest wlteì'e tltoU hast not sown, and 
gatlwrest where tltou hast not strewed. And being afraid, J 
went and hid tllY talent in tIle earth." And his Lord in ans'wer 
said to him: " Thou wicked and slotliful sC1'vant! thou kne1lJ- 
est that 1 reap where I sow not and gat/tel' where I li,ave not 
strewed. Tllolt 01lgntest therefore to have committed Jny 'lnoney 
to the bankers, and at my coming I slMYUld have recei'lxd 'lny 
own witl
 USU1'1J. O(tst ye the unprofitable servant into exte- 
rior da'J'kness." * 
Again, if fervor in our duties is due to God as our Orea- 
tor, it is none the less due to Ohrist as our Redeemer. Oh, 
how strong are the words of St. Paul: "The love if Glirist 
pres8eth 'USj judging tltis, that if one died f(Y}
 all, tlwn were 
all dead. And Olu'ist died for all, that tlwy also tltat live 
may not now live to themselves but to Him who died for 
the1n."t You see what his idea was-that the love of Ohrist 
was a debt that could never be paid, that it ,vas a claim on 
us that pressed continually, and ,vas never satisfied. Anù 
surely it is so. When we think at all, we must all acknowl- 
edge that it is so. Who is Christ? the Son of God, the 
Splendor of His Father's Glory, and tbe Image of His Sub- 
stance. Who are we ? lost sinners. And for us It' TIe did not 
abhor the Virgin's womb." lie did not refuse" to bear our 
infirmities, and carry our sorrows." He gave His body to 
the smiters, and turned not away from those that rebuked 
Him and spat upon IIim. He gave His blood a ransom for 
many, and laid down His life for sin. Was there ever love 
like this 
 While gratitude lives among men, what shall b
 
the return given to Ohrist by those whom He has redeemed î 
Is the return we are actually making such as He deserves 
 
Was it for this that He died, that we should not commit 


* St. Matt. xxv. 24. 


t II. Cor. v. 14. 



324 


THE NEGLIGENT CHRISTIAN. 


quite so rnany mortal sins 
 'Vas it for this that He hung on 
the cross, that only now and then we should o1l1it some im- 
portant duty 
 Was it for this that He s\\?eat those great 
drops of blood, that ,ve should live a slothful and irreligous 
life 
 0 my brethren, when I see how men are living; when 
I look at some Ohristians, and see how when Easter comes 
round it is an even chance whether they go to their duties or 
not; when I see them on Sunday stay away frolu 
Iass so 
lightly, or listen to the word of God so carelessly; when I 
see them omit most important duties toward their families; 
when 'I s
e how freely they expos
 themselves to temptation, 
and how easily they yield to it; when I see how slow they 
are to prayer, how cold, sluggish, sensual and worldly they 
are; above all, \vhen I hear them give for an answer, when" 
they are questioned about these things, so indifferently, " I 
neglected it," I ask myself, Did these men ever hear of Ohrist 
 
Do they kno\v in whose name they are baptized 
 Did they 
ever look at a crucifix, or read the story of the Passion 
 
Alas! yes, they have seen and heard and read, and have 
taken their side, if not with Judas in his deceitful kiss, or 
the soldiers in their mockery, with the crowd of careless men 
who passed by, regardless and hard-hearted. But let these men 
know that their Saviour sees and resents their neglect. "Be- 
cause tl
ou art lukewÇlrm," He says, "and neitlwT cold no]'" 
l
ot, I will beg.in to vomit thee out 0/ my m o'ldh." * His soul 
loathes the slothful and half-hearted. Yes, slothful Chris- 
tian, far different wHl be the estimate thou wilt make of tl1Y 
life when thou comest to die, from \vhat tbou makest now. 
Then that negligence of thine, of whicb thou makest so little
 
\vill seem the crime it really is; and bitter will be the ac- 
count thou shalt render of it to Christ thy Judge. 
But ifit be not enough to rouse us from our torpor, to think 
that we are offending God, let us reflect how great is the 


* Apoc. iii. 16. 



THE NEGLIGE5T CHRISTIA
. 


825 


danger \vhich \YO are bringing on our own souls. A negligent 
Ohristian is in very great danger of being lost. I saiù just 
now that he falls into lnortal sins 110\Y and then. It is hardly 
possible it should b3 other\visc. One \vill certainly fall 
into mortal sin if be does not take pains to avoid it. 'Ve all 
have within us concupiscence, or a tendency to love the 
creature with a disordered love, and this tendency is much 
increased inmost men by actual sins of their past lives. Now, 
this principle acts as a w.eight on the win, ahyays dragging it 
down to the earth. Fervent men make aHo'wance for this. 
They aim higher than it is necessary to reach. They leave a 
nlargin for failure3, \veah.'TIess, find surprise. They build out- 
\vorks to guard the approaches to the citadel. Eut ,vith the 
negligent Christian it is the contrary of all this. Unreflecting, 
unguarded, unfortified by prayer, in his own \"Veakness, and 
with his strong bent to evil, he must lllcet the Í1nmediate and 
direct temptations to mortal sin 'which bofal hinl in his daily 
life. Is not his fall certain? Not to speak of very strong 
temptations \yl1Ích can only be overCOlllC by a special grace, 
\vhich grace God has not proillised to grant except to the 
faithful soul-even ordinary temptations are too much for 
such a n1an. He falls into mortal sin ahnost without 
resistance. 
And ,vhat is also to be taken into the account is, that tbe 
difference between mortal an d venial sin is often a mere 
question of more or less. So 1l1ucb is a mortal sin: so luuch 
is not. The line is often very difficult, nay, impossible to be 
drawn, even by a theologian. Now, \vho can te11 us in prac- 
tice \vhen \ve have arrived nt the lÍInit of venial sin, 'v hen 
,ve have passed beyond it and are in lnort
l sin? "'ViII not a 
careless, thoughtless man, such as I have described, will he 
not be certain sometÏInes to go over the fatal line 
 Yes, lIlY 
brethren, negligent Ohristians cOlnmit mortal sins. They 
c0111n1it 111orta1 sins almost without kno,ying it. They com- 
mit mortal sins - oftener than they imagine. Without 



326 


THE NEGLIGENT CHHISTIAN. 


opposing religion, without abandoning then1selves to a repro- 
bate life, just by neglecting God and their duties, they fall 
into grievous sins; bad habits multiply upon them apace, 
their passions grow stronger, grace gro,vs weaker, their good 
resolutions less frequent and less hopeful, until they are near 
to spiritual ruin. Tbe wise Inan gives us in a striking pic- 
ture the description of such a soul: "I jJassed by tlw field 
of the slotliful man and by the vineyard of the foolisl
 man: 
..And bel
old, it was all filled with nettles, and tho'J'ns had 
covered the face thereif: and the stone wall was broken 
down, wldcl
 when I l
ad seen, I laid .it up i'll 'lny heart, and 
by the example I received instrllction. Tho'll will sleep a 
little, said I: tl
ou will sl1l1nber a little: tho'll 'will fold thy 
hands a little to rest: And poverty shall come upon thee as 
one that runneth, and want as an armed 'lnan."
. 
And what is to secure you from dying in such a state? 
Our Lord says, " If the 'lnaster of tlw house l
ad known in 
wl
at l
o'ltr the tldif w01tld come, he would ha'L'e 'watc/
ed, 
and w01.tld not lLave suffered Ids house to be broken open."t 
But he kne"\v not, and so in the dead of night, ,vhen deep 
sleep falleth on man, tbe thief came. And so it is with death. 
It comes like a thief in the night. Death is almost al,vays 
sudden. Sometimes it comes without any warning at all. A 
man is sent into eternity in a llloment, "\vithout time to utter 
-a prayer. Sometimes it comes after sickness, but sickness 
does not always prepare for death. Tbe sick man says : "Ob, 
it is nothing; I shall soon be well." His friends say the same. 
If he gets ,vorse tbe priest is sent for; he would like to "". 
receive the sacraments. But too often he has not yet looked 
Death in the face, he has not heard the dreadful truths he 
has to ten, he is much as he was in life, slothful and negli- 
gent. And after the priest is gone, when he is alone, at mid- 
night, that comes to pass of which he has thought so little. 


* Proverbs xxiv. 30. 


t Matt. xxiv. 43. 



TIlE NEGLIGENT CHRISTIAN. 


327 


Death enters the room, and with his icy hand unlocks the 
prison of the body, whispering to the soul with awful voice, 
"Arise, and come to judgment." 0 my brethren, Low 
dreadful, if at that hour you find yourself unready! If like 
the foolish virgins you are forced to cry: "Our lamps arc 
gone out." "Cursed is he tltat doetlt tlw'l()orlt, of the Lord 
negligently,"
/
 saith the IIoly Scripture. The work of the 
Lord is the work of our sal vation. That is the work of our 
life, the ,york for "which we are created, and he, who 
through negligence leaves this work undone, shall hear at 
the last that dreadful sentence: "Depart ye cursed." 
We COBle back, then, to this truth, that the only ,vay to 
secure our salvation is to he not slothful in that business, but 
fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Salvation is a serio11s 
work. 'Ve are not sufficiently aware of this. 'Ve SCeITI 
sonleho"T to have got in the belief that the ,vay of life is not 
strait, and the gate not narrow'. Certainly w'e feel very differ- 
entlyabout our salvation from what our fathers in the Cath- 
olic Chureh felt. Ho,v many have gone out into the desert 
and denied themselves rest and food, and scourged thelTISelvcs 
to blood! IIo,v many have devoted themselves to perpetual 
silence t IIow many have willingly given up wealth and 
friends and kindred! How lnany, even their ow'n Ii yes ! 
Will you tel1 lue they \vere but seeking a more perfect life 
 
they "ere but. following the counsels of perfection, which a 
man is free to enlbrace or decline 
 I tell you they ,vere seek- 
iug their salvation. They were afraid of the jndglnent to 
come, and were trying to prepare for it. " Whatever I do," 
says St. Jerome, "I al\vays hear the dreadful sound of tbe 
last trumpet: '.Arise, )?e dead, and come to judglnent.'" 
K úw, can salvation be a work so serious to theln and so triv- 
ial for us 
 Grant that yon are not bound to do precisely 
what they did, are you at liberty to do nothing 
 If you are 


. , 


* Jer. xlviii. 10. 



328 


THE NEGLIGENT CHRISTIAN. 


not bound to a perpetual fast, åi'e you at liberty to darken 
your mind and inflaule your passions by imlTIoderate drink- 
ing 
 If yon are not required to ,valk ,yith do,vncast eyes 
and to obserye perpetual silence, are you. free to gaze on every 
dangerous object, and to .speak \vords of profanity, falsehood, 
impurity, or slander 
 If you are not required to flce fronl 
your hOllies, are you not required. to forsake the occasions of 
sin 
 If you arc. not caned to forego aU innocent pleasures, 
are you exempt frolu every sort of self.denial 
 If no rule 
obliges yon to spend the night in prayer, are you not .obliged 
to pray often 
 Yes, it was the desire to place their salvation 
in security that led our fathers into the desert. Surely, \ve 
have to \vork out our salvation with fear and trelnbling, ,vho 
remain behind in a ",.orld ,vhich they left as too dangerous, 
and have to contend ,vith passions ,vhich they felt ,vellnigh 
too strong for them. We Blust be ,vhat they were. "T/
e 
time is short: it tJ>emainet7
 that they who have w.ives be as 
tl
ose 'wl
o n,ave not,. and tlwy wl
o weep as they 
()ho 1-()eep 
not,. and tlwy 
()ho rejoice as tlw
 
()ho rejoice not,. and they 
wl
o b1-ty as they w7
o possess not,. and tlwy l.,()ho 1-tse this 
'world as lif they tused it not,. for tlw fignre of this wOl'lcl 
passeth away." * 
1rIy brethren, then be earnest in the ,vork of your sal vation. 
While ,ve have titne let us do good, and abound in the ,vork 
of the Lord. Serve the Lord with a perfect lleart. He de- 
serves our very best. Our own happiness, too, ,vill be secured 
by it, for He says: "Take 'Jny yoke 1-tpon you, and learn of 
?ne, and yo
t sllall find rest to your souls. "t .i:'lnd to the fer- 
vent: "An entrance sltall be ministered abundantly into tlw 
everlasting kingdom of JeS1ts Chri/i;t."t This is lllY desire 
for you, to see you fervent Christians. I ,,,"ould like to know 
that you are anxious to assist at the Holy l\fass on weelc.days 
3S ,vell as on Sundays. I would like to know that you pray 


* I. Cor. vii. 29, 30. 


t Matt. xi. 29. 


t II. Pet. i. 11. 



TIlE CROSS, THE MEASURE OF SlY. 


829 


1110rning and evening. I ,voulù like to believe that yon 
speak w'ith God often as the day goes on. I ,vonId like to 
know' that you aro ,vatchful over .rour lips for fear of giving 
offence ,vith your tongue; that you are prOlnpt to reject the 
first temptations to evil; that you are exact in the fulfil- 
ment of your duties; that you are careful in confession, and 
devout at communion-in a w'ord, that you are living a life 
of ,vatchfullless against the cOlning of Christ to judgment. 
This includes all. This is what our Saviour enjoined on 118: 
" Take heed,. 1.vatcl
 and pl'ay ,. 101" YO'lt kno1.v not u'l
en tl
e 
Lord of tlte 'louse cometh: at even, or at Taidnig/ä, or at cock- 
crowing, 01' in the morning. Lest coming of a sudden, He 
find you sleeping." * 


. 


SERMON XII. 


THE CROSS, THE ME4\.SURE OF SIN. 


(PMSIO
 BtJXD.J..Y.) 


"For my thoughts are not as your thoughts; nor your w
ys my ways, saith 
the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways ex- 
alted ahove your ,,;;ays, and my thoughts above your thoughts. "-IsA. LV., 8, 9. 


TO-DAY, my brethren, is the beginning of Passion-tide, the 
Inost solelnn part of the season of Lent. The two ,yeeks be- 
tween now and Easter are set apart especially for the renlem- 
brance of the sufferings of Christ. Therefore the Church 
assumes the Illost sombre apparel, and speaks in the saddest 
tone. The actual recital of the Passion, the follo,ying of our 
Blessed Saviour step by step in His career of' ,voe, she re- 
serves for the last three da
rs of this sorrowful fortnight. In 
this, the earlier part of it, her aim is rather to suggest some 


* St. Mark xüi. 35. 



330 THE CROSS, THE MEASURE OF SIN. 


thoughts which lead the ,vay to Calvary, and prepare the 
mind for the great event that happened there. I shall then 
be saying ,,
hat is suitable to the season, and at the saIne 
time directing your minds to ,vhat I regard as one of the 
most useful reflections connected with this subject, by asking 
you this morning to consider the sufferings of Christ as a 
revelation of the evil of sin. 
But, it may be asked, does man need a revelation on this 
point 
 Is not the natural reason and the natural conscience 
sufficient to tell us that sin is wrong 
 Undoubtedly a man 
naturally kno\vs that sin is an evil, and without this knowl- 
edge, indeed, he would be incapable öf committing sin, since 
in any action a man is only guilty of the evil which his con- 
science apprehends. But this natural perception of sin is 
more or less confused and indistinct. Our Saviour on the 
crOSB prayed for His murderers in these ,vords: "Father, 
forgive them; for they know not what they do." lIe did not 
mean that they were ignorant that they ,vere doing wrong, 
for then they could have needed no forgiveness, but that they 
did not realize the full atrocity of the deed. They were act- 
ing guiltily indeed, but inadvertently and blindly: And the 
same may be said of very Inany sinners. Sin is for the 11108t 
part a leap in the dark. A man kno,vs he is doing a danger- 
ous thing, but he does not realize the full danger. lIe does 
not take in the full scope of his action, 1101' its complete con- 
sequences. St. Paul speaks of the deceitfulness of sin, and 
the expression describes very ,veIl the source of that disap- 
pointment and unhappiness which often overtakes the trans- 
gressor when he finds hinlself involved in difficulties from 
which it is all but impossible to extricate himsel
 and sorrows 
which he never anticipated" It is the old story. Sin" be- 
ginneth pleasantly, but in the end it will bite lil
e a snake and 
u,ill spread abroarlpoison l,,"ke a serpent." * Oh! how many 


* Provo xxili. 31, 32. 



THE CROSS, THE :MEASURE OF SIN. 831 


are there w.ho are finding this true ill their o,vn experience 
every day. 
Tell me, l1IY brethren, do you think that young persons 
,vho contract habits of sin that underrnine their health kno,v 
all they are bringing on themselves-the "
eakness of body, 
tIle feebleness of Inind, the early decay, the shame, the re- 
morse, the impotence of ,vill, the tyranny of passion, the bro- 
ken vows and resolutions, the hopelessness, the fear-perhaps 
the premature disease and death 
 No, all this was 110t in 
their thoughts at first. These are the bitter lessons which 
the youth has learned in the school of sin. lIe bas not found 
out .what he was doing till it ""as all but too late. Or that 
Il1arried .woman ,vho has stepped aside fronl the path of virtue, 
did she realize ,vhat she was doing 
 Did she think of the 
plighted faith broken; did she think of the horrible guilt of 
the adulteress, of the agony, the ren10rse, the deceit, the 
falsehood, the trembling fear of her ,,'hole future life; did 
she realize the llloment when her guilt ,,"ould be detected, 
the fur.r of her wronged husband, her family disbonored, her 
children torn froIll her enIbracc, her naDle infamous, herself 
forlorn and ruined 
 Ob, no 1 tbese things she did not real- 
ize. There was indeed, on the day when she committed the 
dreadful crime, a dark and fearful forDl in bel' path, that . 
raised its hands in w.arning, and frowned a frown of dreadful 
menace. It was the awful form of conscience, but she turned 
away from the sight, and shut her ear to the words, and 
heard not half the message. And so the dreadful conse- 
q uences of her sÏ1í ba ve come upon her almost as if there had 
been no warning. Or that drunkard, ",-l1en he was a handsome 
young man, ,vith a bright eye and a light step, and was neatly 
dressed, and ,vas succeeding in Lis business; ,,?hen l1e .first 
began to tipple, did he realize that he would soon be a 
diseased, bloated, dirty vagabond; that his children would 
be half naked, and his wife balf starved; or that he would 
spend the last cent in his pocket, or the last rag on his back, 



. 


332 Tllß CROSS, THE MEASURE OF SIN. 


in the vain effort to allay that thirst for drink which is' 
aln10st as. unquenchable as the fire of hell ? No, he little 
foresaw it, and if it had been told hiln, he ,vonld have saiá 
with IIasael, the Syrian captain, when Elisha showed hin1 
the abolninations he was about to cOlumit, "What, aln I a 
dog, that I should do such things 
" Or that thief, when he 
yielded to the glittering temptation, and made himself rich 
for a ,,
bile with dishonest riches, did he then.see before him 
the deeper poverty that ,-ras to follow; the loss of all that 
makes a man's heart glo,v and his life happy; the lies that 
he IllUSt tell, the subterfuges he must resort to, the horrible 
detection, the loss of situation, the public trial, the imprison- 
ment ? No. Of course these ,yere all daily in llis thoughts, 
for they were part of the risk he knew he was running; but 
80 little did he bring then1 home to himself, and the suffering 
he "\\as to endur
, that ",'hen they came it seemed aln10st 
harel, as if a wholly unlooked-for calamity had oyertaken 
hiln. So it is. 'Vherever ,ye look it is the saIne thing. 
ltlen imagine sin to be a less evil than it really is. It is so 
easy to con1mit it, it is so soon done, the temptation so 
strong, that it does not seem as if such very bad consequences 
would come of it. So it is done, and the bitter consequences 
come. I t seems as if the lie that Satan told to Eve in the 
garden, when he tempted her to eat the forbidden fruit, 
" Thou shalt not surely die," still echoes through the ,vol'lcl 
and be"itches men's ears so that they always underrate the 
guilt and punishment of sin; and although the lie has 
been exposed a thousand times, although in their own bitter 
experience n1en find its falsehood, yet they do not gro,v vdser, 
they still go on thoughtless, insensible to their greatest dan- 
ger and their greatest evil, and 'when they stand on the shore 
of time, and hear God threatening eternal punishment here- 
after to the sinner, they still set aside the v/arning "Tith the 
saIne fatal insensibility. If they are not Catholics, they deny 



.. 


THE CHOSS, 'filE MEASURE OF SlY. 


333 


or doubt the existence of hell; if they are Catholics, they 
think someho\v they vdll escape it. 
Oh, ill}'" brethren, b"efore you allow 
rourselves to act on 
this estiluate of sin, 80 prcvalent in the ,,"orld, ask yourselyes 
how it accords ,rith God's estÍInate of sin. !That is the true 
standard. God is Truth. lIe sees things ns they are, and 
every thing is just .what lIe considers it. lIe is our Judge, 
and it ,vill not save us ,,,hen 1re stand on trial at IIis bar to 
tell IIim that we have rejected IIis standard and taken our 
own. What, then, is God's estimate of Sill? Look at the 
Cross, and you have the answer. Let 111e for a 1110ment 
carry you back to the scene and tÏIne of the Crucifixion. 
It i
 the eve of a great festival in tlle city of Jerusalem. It 
is the Parasceve, or Preparation of the Passover. On this 
day the Jews "
ere required, each fa.luily by itselt
 to l\:ill a 
lamb and eat it ,vith unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 
They were required to eat it standing, with loins girded, and 
,vith staves in their hands, because this feast ,vas in memory 
of the sudden deliverance of their fathers from the bond- 
age of EgJTpt, 'then God smote the first-born of the 
Egyptians with death, passed ovcr the houses of the 
Israelites, and conducted them miraculously through the 
waters of the Red Sea. It was a great feast among !he 
Jews, and always collected together a great n1ultitude of 
strangers in the holy city. But on this occasion a newex- 
citement was added to the interest of the holy city, for there 
,vas a public execution -on :bIount Calyary, anù turbaned 
priests, and Pharisees with broad fi'inges on their garments, 
and scribes and doctors of the law, mingled in the throng 
of mechanics and laborers, and women and children, who 
hastened to the spot. The day is dark, but as you dra,v 
near the 
Iount, Jon see, high up in the air, the bodies of men 
crucified; and sitting on the ground, or standing in groups, 
talking fu
d disputing among themselves, or watching in 



334 THE CROSS THE MEASURE OF SIN. 


silence with folded arms, are gathered a vast multitude of 
spectators. 
What_ is there in this execution thus to gather together all 
classes of the people 
 The pnnishnlent of crucifixion was 
inflicted only on slaves or malefactors of the ,vorst kind, and 
t\VO of the three that are hanging there are vulgar and in- 
famous offenders. What is it, then, that gives such interest 
to this scene 
 It is He who hangs npon that cross, at \vhose 
feet three sorro,ving ,vomen kneel. Read the title, it will 
tell you who He is. " This is Jesus, the ICing of the Jews." 
Yes, this is Jesus, the merciful and kind; lIe ,vho went about 
doing good, healing all manner of sickness, and delivering all 
that were possessed \vith the devil; lIe who spoke ,v
rds 
ùf truth and love. This is J esns, the King of the Jews, 
,vhom a thousand prophecies fulfilled in him and a thou- 
sand miracles perfonned by Hiln pointed out as the promised 
Messias: Jesus, ,vhQlll the Eternal Father, by a voice froln 
heaven, had ackno,vledged as His own Son. "This is my 
beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Why is this 
 
Why is it that the just mart perishetll 
 The apostle tells 
us: "Christ must needs have suffered." lIe ,vas the true 
Paschal Lamb that must die that ,ve Inight go free. lIe ,vas 
the victim of our sins. Pilate and Herod and the Jews ,vere 
but the instruments by \vhich all the conseqnences of our sins 
fell upon IIim \vho caIne to bear them. "Surely IIe lìatA 
borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows j and we have 
tAoug!ìt IlÙn, as it were, a leper, and as one struck by God 
and afflicted. But lte was 'wounded for our iniqu'ities, lIe 
VJas br'uised for our sins. Tlte chastisement of our peace was 
'ltpon Hin
, and by IIis bruises we. are healed. All we like 
sheep have gone astray, everyone hatli tl/;rned aside into his 
own way, and tlw Lord hatlb laid on hÍ1n the iniquity of us 
all." * Yes, every sin of every kind received its special 


* Isia. liü. 4, 5, 6. 



TIlE CROSS THE :MEASUHE OF SIN. 


885 


reparation ill the sufferings of Christ. IIis InolÜh is filled 
,vith vinegar and gall to atone for our luxury. Ilis ear 
is filled ,,
ith revilings to expiate the greediness ,vith ,vhich 
w'e have drunk in poisonous flattery. Ilis eyes languish 
because ours have been lofty, and nis hands and feet are 
pierced ,vith nails because ours have been the instrulnents of 
sin. lIe suffered death because ".e deserved it. lIe ,vas 
accursed, because \ve had Inade oursel yes liable to the curse 
of God, and hell had its hour of triuluph over IIiln, because 
we had Inade ourselves its children. Nor ,yas it our Lord's 
body alone that suffered. It ,vould be a great mistake to 
suppose that I-lis sacrifice w'as merely external. The chief 
part of Ulan is his soul. St. Leo says that our Lord on the 
cross appeared as a penitent. It "ras not only that lIe suf- 
feredTor the sins of Inen, but it was as if TIe had cOlnmitted 
thenl. The horror ûf them filled His sou]; sorrow for the 
outrage they had done to the Majesty and IIoliness of God 
consulned IIiln. "
Iy soul is exceedingly sorro,vful, even 
unto death," He said. After\vard the evangelist says lie 
began to be very heavy, and it ,vas sinners that on the cross 
made Him bo\v Ilis h
ad and give up the ghost. He ,vas 
not killed. His enemies did not take IIis life. The flood 
of sorro\v for sin came into Ilis soul, and overwhelnled Him. 
It was too tnuch. IIis heart was broken. Oh, the weight 
of that sorro\v! lIe 1Jo\ved IIis head and gave up the 
ghost. Then sin ,vas expiated. Then the \vork of man's 
atonement ,vas completed. At last man had done adequate 
penance. At last sorrow for sin had reached its just propor 
tion as an offence against God. 
Here, I say, ,ve have a revelation of the evil of sin. God 
does nothing in vain: His ,,,"orks are as fuU of wisdom as they 
are of power. Since, therefore, Christ died for sin, the cross 
of Christ is the Ineasure of sin. ,- From the consideration of 
the remedy," says St. Bernard, "learn, 0 my soul, the great- 
ness of thy danger. Thou wast in error, and behold the Son 



336 THE CROSS THE MEASURE OF SIN. 


of the Virgin is sent, the Son of the 1\10st IIigh God is ordered 
to be slain, that IllY \vounds lTIay be healed by the precious 
balsaln of IIis blood. See, 0 man, ho\v griev9us were thy 
,voullds, for. which, in the order of Divine \visdom, it was 
necessary that the l:11nb Christ should be \vounded. If they 
had not been unto death, and unto eternal death, never 'would 
the Son of God have died for them. The cross of Christ 
is not only an altar of sacrifice, but a pulpit of instruction. 
Frolll that pulpit, lifted up on high, Jesus Christ preaches a 
lesson to the w'hole ,vorld." The burden of the lesson is the 
evil of sin. "The la\v,vas givcn by 
loscs, but grace and 
truth canle by Je.sus Christ." And yet, my brethren, the 
law ,vas published afresh by Jesus Christ. 1rlount Calvary 
but repeats the Inessage of J\10unt Sinai-nay, repeats it \vith 
Jnore po,ver. Here, indeed, God does not speak in thunders 
and lightnings, as lIe did there, but lIe speaks in the still 
sl11a11 voice of the suffering Saviour. Oh, what meaning is 
there in those sad eyes as they bend down npon us ! Oh, 
what po,ver in those gentle ,vords He utters! He does not 
say, "Thou shalt not commit adultery; t!lOU shalt not steal; 
thou shalt not bear false witness." No. He cries to a guilty 
people, a people ,yho have already broken the law', and He 
says to them: "See \vhat you have done. See J\Iy thorn- 
cro\vned head. See 1\Iy hands and feet. Look at 1\le ,vhom 
yon have pierced. Is it a light thing that could have reduced 
Me to such a state of ,voe 
 Is it a light thing that could have 
bound 1\le to this cross 
 1\le, the Creator of all things, to 
\vhom you O\VC all life and liberty 
 Who by 
Iy word and 
touch bave so often healed the sick and released them that 
,vere bound to Satan. They say of 1t-le, 'lIe saved others, 
- HÍ1nself lIe cannot save.' And they say truly.. 11ere must 
I bang. Not the Jelvs bave nailed Me to this cross, but My 
love, and thy sins. Yes, see in My sufferings your sin dis- 
played. See in the penalty I pay the punishment y'ou have 



THE CROSS, THE :?\IEASUUE Of' SIN. 337 


deserved. See yonr guilt in 1tly sorrow'. Look at 
Ie, and 
see what sin is in the presence of the .r\1l 1101y (;0<.1 ! " 
Can any thing show III ore than this what a nlJsterious c,.n 
sin is, that it is an offence against God, an as:,ault upon Tlis 
throne, an attack upon IIis life, an evil all but infinite? .AU 
the other expressions of the evil of sin, the cries of misery 
,vhich it has wrung froln its victhns, the warnings ,vhich 
natural reason has uttered against it, the tender hl1nenta- 
tions '\vith w
ich the saints have bewailed it, the penalties 
with which God has threatened to visit it, all pale before the 
announccnlent that God sent Ilis Son into the world to die 
for it. I do not wonder that, as the evangelist te11s UR, the 
multitudes who came together at the sight of our Saviour's 
crucifixion returned smiting their breasts. Oh, wllat an 
awakening of stupefied consciences there lllust have been that 
day! How many, who came out in the morning careless and 
thoughtless, went back to the city with anxious hearts, with 
a secret grief and fear within they had ne'
er felt before. I 
suppose that even the scribes and Pharisees, who had plotted 
our Saviour's death, felt, for the moment at least, a guilty fear. 
Why, even Judas, when he saw what he had done, repented, 
and went and hanged himself
 sa
ring: "I have sinned in 
that I have betrayed the innocent blood." And this book 
of the Passion has been ever since the sonrce from ,vhich 
penitents have drawn their best motives for conversion, and 
saints their strongest impulses to perfection. Here, on tIle 
cross, is the root of that uncompromising and awful doctrine 
about sin-the doctrine, I mean, that sin is in no case what- 
ever to be allowed, that even the smallest sin for the greatest 
result can never be permitted; that it iB an evil far greater 
than can be spoken or imagined; that it must never be trifled 
with, or made light of; that it is to be shunned with the 
greatest horror, and avoided, if need be, even at the cost of 
our life-which has always been so essential a part of Chris. 
tianity. 


15 



338 THE CROSS, THE MEASURE OF SIN. 


_ And now, my brethren, it is because men forget the cross, 
òecause their minds no longer Inove on a Christian basis, that 
they make light of sin. There is a tendency in our day to do 
so. Crime-men ackno\vledge that, an offence against law, 
an offence against good order. Vice-they ackno,,, ledge that, 
a hurtful and excessive indulgence of passion; but sin, a 
creature's offence against God, that they think impossible. 
"1Vhat! can I, a frail creature," say they, "ignorant and 
passionate, can I do an injurjT to God 
 I err by excess or 
defect in my conduct; I bring evil on myself it is true; but 
what difference can that make to the Supreme Being? Can 
He be very much dispJeased at IllY follies 
 1Vill His serene 
ltlajesty in heaven be affected because I 011 this earth aIn 
carried too far by passions 
 Can He 
are what my religious 
belief is 
 or will lIe separate I-liIuself from Ine eternally be- 
cause I have happened to violate some law
" Such language 
is an echo of heathenism, and heathenisln not of the best kind, 
for some heathens 11ave had a doctrine about sin ,vhich ap- 
proached very near to the Christian doctrine. It i moreover, 
a degrading doctrine; for, ,vhile- it lea\es a man his intellect 
and animal nature, it takes away his con
cience. What is 
that conscience within us but a witness that God does concern 
Himself about us-that my heart is I-lis throne, and that my 
everlasting destiny is union with IIb11. "Every onc that is 
born of God," says the apostlC';''' doth not cOIDInit sin, for he 
cannot sin, because he is born of God." Not that sin is a 
physical impossibility with hhn, but it is in contradiction to 
his regener.ate nature. In order, then, to soothe yourself into 
the bl3lief that sin is not so very bad, that God cannot be 
very angry with you for it, YOll have got to tear conscience 
from your heart, you have got to give up the good gift, and 
the powers of the ,vorld to come, which caIne upon you at 
your baptism; and you have to give up all the brightest hopes 
of Christianity for the life hereafter. Nay, more, you have 
got to deny the cross, to deny our Lord's divinitJ, to deny 



THE CROSS, THE MEASURE OF SIN. 339 


His sufferings for sin, and thus to render yourself without 
faith as well as without conscience. 
I conclude ,vith the affectionate exhortation of St. John the 
Apostle. "Ny clâldren, tltese things I 'write to you that ye 
s1.n not." "All unrigILteo1tsne
s is sin." Every breach of the 
n10ral law is a. failure in that homage, that obedience, that 
service ,ve owe to God. It., a direct offence against God. 
It is a thing exceedingly to be feared and dreaded. A ,vrong 
,vord spoken or 
1. wrong action done has consequences 
w'hich go far and "ide. Do not say, J
ou have sinned, but 
haye done harln to no one. You have done harm to God, 
and JOu have certainly done harm to yourself. Do not sin. 
Do not c01l1mit Inortal or venial sin. Do not make light of 
sin. Do not abide in sin. If you are in sin no,v, remember 
at this holy tilne to repent and turn back to God: and if 
your conscience tells you that you arc no,,,. in the friendship 
of God, oh, let it be all your care to av'oid sin. Fly frolu 
tIle face of sin. Fly from the approach of sin. A. void the 
occasions of sin. Watch against sin, and pra.y continually, 
not to be led into sin: and .when your hour of trial conles, 
when some strong temptation assails yon, then be ready to 
say, as the prophet Joseph, "'Vhat! shall I do this ,,,,icked 
thing, and offend against God
" This is that fear of God 
,vhich is the beginning of ,visdom. This is the happiness 
of which the Psahnist spoke: "Blessed is tlte man that fLatllt 
not 1()alked in the counc.il of the ungodly, nor stood in tlte way 
of sinners, nor sat in the cltair of pestilence,. but h'is 'will is 
in the law of the Lord, and on His law he shall meditate 
day and night. And he shall be like a tree wltich is planted 
near the running waters, which shall ò'iLing forth its fruit 'in 
d'lle season. And hisZeaf shall not fall off; and all, what- 
soever he Bhall do, shall prosper." * 


* Pa. L 1-3. 


. 



840 


DIVINE ÒALLS AND WARNINGS. 


SER1tION XIII. 


DIVINE CALLS AND WARNINGS. 


(A SERMON FOR LENT.) 


U Seek ye the Lord while He may be foun" call upon Him while He is near." 
ISA.I. LV. 6. 


TIlE Wise 1tIan tells us that "all tAings lìave tlteir season, 
ana in their times all tliings pass funder heaven." * Cer- 
tainly, it is so in the natural world. There is a tilne for the 
birds to migrate. "TIle kite in the air knows Iwr tirne, tlw 
turtle and tAe swallow and tAe storIe observe tlte time of their 
cO'lning." t There is a time for seeds and shrubs to grow. 
Seed-time and harvest do not fail. There is a busy tÍ1ne and 
a slack tinle in the '\yorld of commerce. There is a time for 
education, a tiIne ,vhen the mind is inquisitive and the mem- 
ory retentive, and it is easy to acquire knowledge; and 
another time, ,vhen the po.wers of the mind, like the lirnbs 
of tho body, seem to grow stiff and rigid, and can be em- 
ployed only with difficulty. But does this la,v reach also to 
the supernatural ,vorld 
 Has the grace of God also its sea- 
sons and its tÍ1ues 
 I believe it has; and it is to this fact, 
so in1portant in its bearing on our salvation, that I wish no'\v 
to direct your attention. 
But JOU may ask me what I 111eall by saying that the grace 
of God has its special tÍInes and seasons. Are not all times 
alike to God? Is not God always ready to save the sinner, 
and to besto'\v the graces necessary to his salvation? U n- 
doubtedly He is. "\Ve, Catholics, believe that God gives to 
every man living sufficient grace, that is, He gives him the 
grace to pray; and if he prays, God is ready to give hi
 
other and higher graces, which will carry hirn on to salva- 


* Eccl. iü. 1. 


t Jer. vüi. .,. 



DIVINE CALLS AND ".. ARXINGS. 


. 
341 


âon; but, ordinarily speaking, U1en do not use this common 
grace, unless some special and particular grace is gi yen. 
,vhich cxcites the111 to do so. Ko,v, it is of these special 
graces of ,vhich I speak, "yhen I say that they have their 
tinles and their seasons. I refer to those Divine Calls and 
Warnings, those Providences, thosc sacred inspirations, ,\"'hich 
stir the heart beneath its surface, and bring it, for a tiIne at 
least, in conscious contact ,vith the Infinite and Eterna1. 
These, I say, COlne Hnd go. They have a law of their own. 
We cannot have them all the tinle. We cannot appoint a 
time, and say we \rill have tbcln to-morro,v, or next year. 
They are like the wind that blo\vs; ,ve hear the sound of it, 
but ,ve cannot tell whence it comes and ,,-hither it goes. 
They are like the lightning, that shines froln the east even 
unto the w.est. They come suddenly, and dart a flash of 
light upon our path, then they are gone. They are like the 
visit of Christ to the t\\yo disciples at Enlmaus: as soon as 
their hearts began to burn ,vithill them, and they discovered 
,vho it ,vas that talked ,vith them, TIe vanished out of their 
sight. 
Certainly there are proofs enough that such is the hnv of 
God's dealings with the sou1. If ,,,,"c look back at our own 
lives, do we not see that ,ve have bad our special tilues ,vhen 
Christ visited us? our times of grace 
 red-letter days in the 
calendar of our life 
 I know God's grace acts secretly; and 
oftentimes when "ye are under the strongest influence of grace, 
,ve are least conscious of it. TInt ,vhen the tinle is past and 
over, and we look back upon it, we can see that there 'was a 
Divine influence upon us, especially if ,ve have corrèsponded 
to it. I think each one of us, if he looks back upon the past, 
,v ill see clearly the tilues ,vhen he has been under the Ï1n- 
pulse of SOIne unusual 1l10VeInent of the mind, thc result of 
some special grace of God. Perhaps it came in the shape of 
some great affiiction. You had a happy hOlne. The pure
t 
of earthly joys was :yours-domestic happiness, perfect sJln- 



342 


DIVINE CALLS AKD 'V ARNINGS. 


pathy in gladness and in sorro,v. But death entered your 
. abode, and the loying yoice ,vas silenced, and the ldndly eye 
,yas closed. And in that deep grief, in that darkness and 
loneliness Christ spoke to your sinking heart, saying, "Fear 
not;" and you carne forth out of that afiiiction ,,,ith a new 
strength, ,vith purer ain1s, with a quietness and peace of 
heart ,vhich only suffering can give. 
Or, perhaps, the crisis in your history was your attendance 
on a " ll1ission." Yon had lived in neglect of religion, al- 
Inost cOIIlplete. Confession ,vas a bugbear to you. Years 
of sin and forgetfulness of God had hardened your conscience. 
But suddenly all was changed. Yon seemed a new lnan. 
Your faith ,vas illuminated ,vith a new brilliancy. Sin had 
a new horror. The string of your tongue ,vas loosed, and 
oh, ,vith what ease, with ,,,,hat fidelity and exactness, you 
made that dreaded confession! "\Vhat cOlnfort you derived 
frOITl it! and ,vith ,vhat energy and detennination did you 
enter on the duties of a Christian life! 
Or, it might have been in less striking ,vays that grace did 
its work. It n1ay have been a book, a word, an interior in 
spiration, some of the seasons of the holy Church, holy com- 
munion, some of the lesser changes of life, a :fit of sickness, 
a violent temptation: these Inay have been the instrulnents 
which God Inade use of, from tÏ1ne to tilne, to convey special 
graces to your soul. Sometimes the ailn of these graces ,vas 
to arouse you out of some deeply-seated habit of sin; some- 
tirñes to draw your heart aw'ay fronl the ,yorld to heaven; 
sometimes it ,vas a call to prayer; sometimes a ,varning of 
danger: in fine, for some purpose bearing on your sal vatioD, 
there they are, those visits of grace in your past life, as dis- 
tinct and unnlistakable as any other part of your history. 
'Vhen 'We read the BiLle story of such saints as Abraham, 
Moses, and Elias, "hat strikes us as lllOst wonderful and 
most beautiful is the familiarity in ,vhich they lived ,vith 
God, ho,v God drew near to them and spoke to theIne N ow. 



DIVINE CALLS AND W AR
INGS. 


843 


such passages have a parallel in the history of each one of 
us. Thcre are tiInes in our Ii \yes, and 110t a fc\v such tiln
s, 
when God draw's near to the soul, when lIe confronts it, 
Inakcs special dClnands upon it, addresses it no longer in gen- 
eral, but particularly and individual]y; ,vhcn lIe says to the 
soul, Go and do this, Do not do that, as unJllistakably as 
"yhen Ile said to .A..brahanl: "Go fOl,tlt out of thy country, 
and f,'om tllY kindred, and out of thy father
sllo1tse, and 
come into tlte land wltic/
 I sllall show tllee."
- 
And if this be so, the lllode in which ,ve receive these 
divine COlllIllunications must ha'.e a great deal to do ,vith 
our guilt or innocence before God. We read in the Book 
of J lldges, that on a ccrtain occasion .an angel of the Lord 
appeared to Manne and his ,,"ife, ,vith a message tì'om OIJ 
high. He appeared to t1.1enl in a IUllnan shape, and spoke 
with a hUlnan voice, and they did not kno\\'" that he \yas an 
angel. It \vas 110t until they sa,v hiJll ascend to heaven in 
the flalne from the altar that they understood that they had 
been talking ,vith one of the hea\"enly host. Then they 
said: "TVe shall certainly die because 'we Aave seen God !"t 
N o,v, there is a sense in "yhich this cxclanultion is neither 
superstitious nor strange, as the expression, that is, of their 
anxiety lest in thcir ignorance they 1night have treated their 
heavenly visitor in some -unseemly ,vay. 0 IllY brethren, 
it is no light thing îor God to draw' near to a hunlan soul. 
It is no light thing for llitn to speak to us. 'Vhen lie speaks 
we cannot be as if lIe had not spoken. "His \yord shall not 
return to Him yoid." The relation between the Creator and 
the creature is such, that the InOlllent He speaks our position 
is altered. When He calls we must either foHow or refuse 
to follo\v; there is no neutrality possible. 
Oh, "hat a thought} that if indeed God has spoken to ùs 
often in our past lives, if He has given us special cans and 


* Gen. xii. 1. 


t Judges xiü. 22. 


. 



344 


DIVINE CALLS A
D WARNINGS. 


w'arnings, we Inust often have resisted IIiIn! There are 
many of us, I fear, ,vho have altogether too little conscience 
on this subj ect. A lllan COlnes to confession after an absence 
of several years. lIe confesses his luore prominent sins 
against the divine commandments, but perhaps he does not 
even mention his failure to perform each year his Easter duty. 
..A.nd if the confessor calls his attention to it, he has nothing 
to say but, "Oh, yes, I neglected that." You see, he does 
not realize at all that God has been calling him froin year to 
year, has lllet hÍ1n again and again, and exhorted hiin to 
repent, and he has refused. 
..A..nother III an hears a sermon ,vhich thoroughly awakens 
his conscience. He sees in the clearest light the danger of 
his besetting sin. His conscience is stirred, he almost re- 
solves to break off his sin, but he does not quite come to the 
point, he postpones his conversion, and, after a little, dismisses 
the subject from his mind. N O'V, here again, you see, is a 
die.tinct resistance to grace. The man has not only continued 
in sin, but has continued in sin in spite of God's ,yarning. 
Again, a person, free from the grosser forills of sin, has 
some radical fault of character; SOITIe fault ,vhich is apparent 
to everyone but himself; a deep obstinacy; a dangerous 
]evity; an inveterate slothfulness; an overbearing teillper; 
a dornineering spirit-faults ,vhich are the sonrce of innu- 
merable difficulties-and he is plainly ,yarned of these faults, 
but refuses to acknowledge then1, strengthen8 himself in his 
self-deception, and clings to these faults as if they ,vere a 
necessary part of his character. What is he doing, but frus_ 
trating the designs of God, despising His reproof, and reject- 
ing the grace whicb was meant to make him so much better, 
so lTIuch bappier, so much more useful 
 
Resisted grace! What is that but to ,vithstand God to 
His face, and to say: I will not serve? To resist gracé, 
what is that but to despise the precious Blood of Christ. To 
obtain lor us those graces, the Blood of Christ and all His 
sufferings ,vere given, and ,vithout then1 ,ve should have 



DIVINE CALLS AND W ARNIKGS. 


84ó 


been left in our sins and tni::,eries; and so to refuse these 
graces is to tnake light of Christ's 1110St bitter Death and 
Passion. To resist grace, what is that Lut to refuse 
lory. 
For each grace of Goù has a corresponding ùcgree of glury 
attached to it; and, if "Te refuse the one, w'e reject the other. 
The truth is, ,ve forget too Inneh God
s personal agency in 
our salvation. We are on earth, and God is far a ,yay 
in heaven. He has indeed left ns IIis Law', and lIe is 
cOllling to judge us at the last day, but lIe is not no,va pres- 
ent, ,,"atchful, living, speaking God to us. "\Ve forget that 
"IIe is not far from everyone of'lts." 'Ve forget that lIe is 
about our path, and about our bed; that lIe ,vatches ns w'ith 
the eagerness and tenderness of a 1110ther for her child; that 
He intensely desires our salvation; that lIe pleads ,vith us, 
warns TIS, calls to us, stretches out His IIanù to us all the 
day long. It is nothing that lIe IIiJllself tells ns ne stands 
at the door and knocks; it is nothing that lIe calls to us 
fron1 ,yithout, saying: "OjJen to JJIe, ]ly lo
'e, fO}- ...Jly lwad 
is wet witl
 dew, and JJIy locks 'loitl
 tl
e drops of tlte night,." . 
w'e open not; ,ve heed Ilb11 not; "TO hear IIiul not. Oh! I 
believe, at the Judgment Day, Jnany a man ,viII be appalled 
to see ho,v he has treated Christ. In the description ,vhich 
our Lord has given us of that day, TIe tens us that the 'wicked 
shall sa)", in ans,ver to lIis reproofs: "TVAen sau) we Thee 
hungry or thirsty, or a strange'l", OJ" naked, or sicl;, or in 
p')'ison, and did not minister to Thee?" So, I believe, Inany 
will say: "0 Lord, ,vhen did ""e refuse to hear Thee'1 
When did we 
hut onr hearts to Thy grace
" ..A.nd lIe ,vi}] 
ans,ver: "'Vhen, at the voice of My preacher, you refused 
to forsake that sin; ,vhen, at the invitation of :Thly Church, 
you refused to repent and an1end; 'when, at the call of :Th1y 
Spirit, you refused to a"yake from your sloth, and follo\v after 
that perfection I demanded of you. In rejecting :Thly agents, 
you have rejected Me. It ,vas I; I, your God and YOll1. 
Saviour; I, your End and Rew'ard, ,vho ,valked with you on 
15* 



846 


DIVINE CALLS AND W ARNI!\GS. 


Jour ,vay through life, who opened to you the Scriptures, 
and sought to enter in and tarrJ ,vith you." 
And, again, as resistance to grace is a special sin in itself, 
and a special matter about which we must render an account 
to God, so, ,,,,hen persisted in, it is the sure road to final im- 
penitence and reprobation. Let me bring before your mind 
some of our Lord's emphatic teaching on this point. 
Toward the latter part of our Lord's life, in preaching to 
I!is disciples on a certain occasion, lIe used this parable: 
".A certain 'Jnan had a fig-tree planted in Ids vineyard, and 
he ca'lne seeking f'í'uit on it an(Z found none. And he said 
to t/
e tiller of the vineyard: Behold, these t/
ree years I calne 
seeking fruit on tlds fig-tree, and I find none. Cut it down 
therefore,. why doth it take up tlw ground? B1tt II-e answer- 
ing, said to him: Lord, let it alone t/
is year also, 'until I 
dig about it and dung it. .And if I
appily it bear fruit: 
but if not, the
 afte')' that thou shalt cut it down." * The 
same lesson which in this parable Christ conveyed to the ear, 
He addressed, a out the same time, by a striking action, to 
the eye. As He was going from Bethany to Jerusalem, lIe 
saw a :fig-tree by the wayside. "And he came to it, and 
found not/Ling but leaves only, and I
e said to it : Jfay no 
fru
t grow on thee Iwncefo1"wal'dforever. And im'lnediately 
the jig-tree withered away. And tlw disciples seeing it, won- 
de'red, saying: IIow is it presently wit/
ered away?" t The 
apostles could not fail to connect this action ,vith the para- 
ble quoted above, and to understand them both as referring 
to the reje.ction of the Jewish people. For three 
rears He 
preached to that people, warned them, and instructed .them. 
Then, at last, when they refused to listen to I-lim, IIe with- 
drew fron1 them His presence, grace, and blessing, and left 
them to the consequences of their unbelief and hardness of 
heart; left them to "wither away." Listen to IIis lamenta- 


* St. Luke xüi. 6-9. 


t St. Matt. xxi. 19. 



DIVIXE CALLS AND ,V ARNINGS. 


847 


tion over tbat guilty city. It is Palm Sunday. lIe is com- 
ing to the city in trÏlllnph. The cro"ds are shonting ho- 
sannas. At last, in IIis jOUTI1CY lIe comes to the l\Iount of 
Olives, whence the IIoly City is full bef{)re [lis view.. lIe 
looks at it; lIe thinks of' all lIe has done to warn that peo- 
ple and convert then1; lie thinks of the ill s

cess lIe has 
n1et with; lIe kno\vs that he is going there for the last timc, 
anù that in a fe\v days they will fin up the measure of their 
sins by nailing him to the cross; and, as he looked upon it, 
ne ,vept over it, and said: "If tl
ou lLadòt known, and tlLat 
in this thy day, the tlu:ngs that are for thy peace: but nUll) 
tlu:y are lddden fl'om thy eyes. For the days sllall COTlW 
'ltpon thee, and thy enemies slLall cast a trench about thee, and 
cOlnpass thee round, and straiten tlwe on eVC1'y side, and beat 
thee flat to tl
e ground, and thy c!tild1'en 'l(}!to are in thee: and 
they slLall not leat'e in thee a stone 'ltpon a stone, beca.use tholt 
hast not known the tl1ne of thy vlt5itation." * Behold the 
end! a people resisting grace, ill1til at last grace for
akes 
them, and they are left to their own iInpenitence and hard- 
ness of heart! And behold the fearful image of a soul which 
has resisted grace, until its final reprobation! 
Yes, my brethren, this is but the fearful image of what 
passes in many a soul. What does the IIoly Scripture say? 
"The rnan tl
at 'loitlt a stiff nec7
 de8J)i8etl
 hi'l7L tlLat relJrot'ctl/; 
Aim shall suddenly be destroyed j and lwaltl
 sllall not follo'w 
ldm." t God does not desire the death of the wicked. God 
never entirely ceases to strive with lnan. God never leaves a 
luan altogether destitute of grace. But then God is not bound 
to impart special graces; and when lIe finds that these graces 
are uniformly rejected, when he meets only a hardened heart 
and a will obstinately bent on evil, lIe ,vithholds then1, or gives 
them less frequently. 1Ieanwhile bad habits increase; sins 
multiply; the root of sin in the heart becOlnes deeper anù 


* St. Luke xix. 41-44. 


t Provo xxix. 1. 



:148 


DIVINE CALLS AND 'V ARNINGS. 


stronger: years pass on in sin, and at last death comes. 
'Vhat kind of a death naturally follo,vs such a life? "Vhat 
kind of death often, i'n point of fact, follo\ys such a life? I 
,vìll tell you: an impenitent death; the death of the repro- 
bate and the lost. Perhaps the man dies a sudden death. 
lIe lnay die in his bed, but die a sudden death for all that; 
for he ll1ay die out of his senses, and unable to do any thing 
,vhatever toward making his peace with God. Or, he may 
die in daring rebellion against God. It is possible for men 
to die so. It is possible for a man ,vho has a deep enmity in 
his heart to refuse to give it up at the last hour; and it does 
happen. It is possible for a man who JIas dishonest ,vealth 
in his possession to clutch it even while his fingers are cold 
and blue in the last agony; and that does happen. It is pos- 
sible for a man ,vho has lived in shameful sins of unchastity 
to refuse to dismiss the partner of his gui1 t, though in five 
minutes his soul will be in hell; and that too has happened. 
Or, a man Inay die in despair. The devillnay bring the 
fearful catalogue of his sins before bis n1Ìnd, in all their black- 
ness and enormity; the rernembrance of bad confessions and 
broken resolutions may paralyze his will; and the dreadful 
record of communions made in sacrilege ma.r complete, the 
temptation, and the poor soul turn aw'ay from the crucifix, 
turn away from the priest, and die pouring forth the ravings 
of despair. 
Or, on the contrary, he Inay die in preSUIDI)tion, in se1f: 
deceit. lIe may indeed go through the form of a confession, 
111ay receive the sacraments, and cheat himself into thinking 
it is all right, and be all the time a hypocrite, turning 
from his sins, not because he hates theIn, but because be 
can no longer enjoy them; and may receiye tbe absolution 
of the priest only to hear it reversed the moment he gets 
Iuto the presence of the unerring Judge, before whom are 
open all the secrets of the heart. 
Death in some Buch form is, I say, the l1atural end of 



DIVIYE CALLS AND 'V ARNISGS. 


349 


neglect of divine calls and warnings; and such a death is, in 
point of fact, not unfrequently the actual end of such a 
course. "For," saya the apostle, "tlte eartl/; that drinketh 
'Út the rain, 1.oll.iclt cometh often 'Upon it, and vJ'ingeth .forth 
herbs useful for tlwm by whom it is tilled, receiveth blessing 
froln God. But that !which bl'íngeth forth thoJ'ns and briel"s, 
is rejected, and vel'y near to a cnrse, 1.0n08e en(l 1..8 to be 
burnt."* 
And, 0 Iny brethren, if this is so, you who are putting off 
your conversion, putting off your return to Goù, to "'That a 
risk are JOu exposing your salvation! You say you \vill go 
to your confession at some other time. Yon are young; you 
imagine it will be easier in coming years; you think your 
passions "'Till be ","eaker, your temptations less. But you are 
deceiving yourselves. You arc counting on that "'Thich you 
do not knoW" will e,er be yours. You cannot pron1ise your- 
self another 
rear. IIo\v many who were here a year ago are 
now numbered with the dead! 
ome of them as young as you 
are, and "Tho a year ago felt as )Ton do no'y. Yon count on 
special graces, and you have no right to count on them. 
You are deceiving yourselves, my brethren, you are deceiving 
yourselves. The freeness and abundance of grace, the cheap- 
ness of grace, if I may so express myself, deceives you. God 
invites, and seems to ])lead and to beseech you to be saved, 
and you think it "Till always be so. Yon think a time is 
coming when God will save you in spite of yourselves. You 
know tbat you are not now on the road to heaven, you know 
that you are living in sin, but you think somehow God will 
interfere and make it right. 'Ve are told in the gospel that 
there ""as at Jerusalem a pool, around which usually lay a 
great multitude of sick and afflicted people, waiting for the 
moving of the water; for an angel came down at certain 
times and troubled the water, and whoever stepped in first 


· Heb. vi. 7, 8. 



350 


DIVINE CALLS AND ,V ARNINGS. 


after the troubling of the water ,vas healed. So it is with 
slothful, negligent, procrastinating Christians. They lie in 
their sins, waiting for some aid which will raise them to 
their feet, and make them ",'"hole without any effort of their 
o"'"n. Vain hope! They will die in their sins. " You 
shall seek 1ne," said Christ, "and YOlt shall die in your 
sins." * These fearful words are addressed to you, 0 des- 
piser of God's grace; to you, 0 young man, who deferrest 
conversion; to you, lover of pleasure, who will not break with 
your idols; to you, 0 drunkard, who win not throwaway the 
intoxicating glass; to you, 0 avaricious man, who are getting 
rich by fraud or by the blood of souls. "You shall die h
 
YOU]' sins.." That is the end to which you are tending. As 
you have despised God, so lIe ,vill despise you. You shall 
seek Him, but you shall not find Ilim. You shall call upon 
Him, but He will not hearken. Ät your dying hour, every 
thing ,,,,ill fail you. Prayer will die on your lips, unused to 
pray. .Your Inind, so long accustomed to love sin, will find 
it hard to turn from it with true contrition. The priest, ah ! 
the priest cannot save you. He can only help yoù, can only 
give you the consolations of religion if you are rightly dis- 
posed. And how can you dispose yourself at that dreadful 
hour, when your mind is :filled with a fearful looking for of 
judgment, ,vhen all 
rour sins, and all the graces you have 
rejected, rise up before your guilty conscience 
 Oh! meet 
this danger. Do not run this risk. Resist no longer the 
grace of God. Behold, now once more God calls you to Ilis 
fear. Behold, the days have come" to do penance, and to 
redeem your sins." God by IIis Holy Church makes you 
another offer. "T
trn unto '1ne, and I1.vill turn unto you," 
saith the Lord. "Let tlw wicked for8a7
e l
i8 way, and tlte 

tnjust man l
is tho1lg1ds, and let ldn
 return to the Lord, 
and he will have 'Jnercy on l
im."t "To-day, then, if you u'.ill 


* St. Jo
 viii. 21. 


t Isai. Iv. '1. 


... 



DIVISE CALLS AND W ARXINGS. 


351 


hear .ilia voice, harden not your lteal 1 ts." Resolve to prepare 
for your Easter confession. If yon caIne_last East
r and 
have persevered, bless God, and come now'. If you have 
fallen away, see where the error ".as, and learn a deeper 
humility, and Inake a stronger purpose, and C0111e again. 
And, oh! if JOu have stayed away in former years, and 
are purposing to stay away this Easter, too-or if you are too 
negligent to have formed any purpose; if you are just float- 
ing on, heedless and careless, then know, that for all these 
things God will bring you into judgment, tbat the severest 
part of your account will be for graces resisted and rejected; 
and that you arc preparing for yourselves the retributiol1 
threatened in those dreadful words: "B ecausß I called and 
you 'j'efused: I stl'ctclwd out .JIy Iland j and tlte}'e was 
none that regarded. You Itave despisßcl all 1ny counsel, 
andl
avß neglected my reproofs. I also will lauglb in yoU'r 
áestruction: and will ?noclt" wlu:n that shall come 'ltpon YOM 
wltich you feared. 1V7ìen sudden calamity sltall fall upon 
you, and destruction as a tempest slLall be at ltand: when 
trib'l-tlation and distress shall C01ne 
pon you: Tlwn tlwy 
shall call upon .J.1Ie, and I u'ill not hear: they shall rise in 
tlw morning, and shall not find JIe: Because tlMY lLated 
instruction, and receivecl not tlw fear of the Lord, '110'1' con- 
sented to lily counsel, but despised all My reproof. There- 
fore they sllall eat the fruit of their own way, and shall be 
filled 'with tlLe'l.r own devices." * 


. Provo i. 2.i-31. 



852 


THE TOMB OF CHRIST, 


SERMON XIV. 


THE TOMB OF CHRIST, TIlE SCHOOL OF COMFORT. 


(EASTER SUXDAY.) 


&C Jesus saith to her : Woman why weepest thou? Whom seekest thou 1" 
ST. JOlIN xx. 15. 


Ho,v full of tcnderness are these. words! They 'v ere 
spoken on the first Easter Day. This ,veeping WOlllan was 
Mary ltfagdalene, she that had been a great sinner, and was 
converted, and loved our Lord so much. She had been at 
IIis Cross: she is now at I-lis Tonlb, with her spices and oint- 
ments to anoint I-lis body. But our Lord's body ,vas not 
in the grave. The stone is rol1ed aw.ay. The tOlnb is open, 
and He is not there. And yet He is not far a,vay. Risen 
froIll the dead to a new and mysterious life, He hovers about 
the garden, and dra,vs near tò her as she approaches the 
sepulchre. At the outburst of her grief on finding the sepul- 
chre en1pty, He breaks silence. "Woman why weepest thou? 
Whom seekest tltO'lt ? " These are the first words our Lord 
spoke after I-lis Resurrection. They are the same ,vords that 
'Ycre used by the angel a little before. They seeln to be the 
antiphon, the key-note which Heaven has given us to guide 
our Easter thoughts. No tears on Easter Day. Nay, no 
tears any more of the bitter, hopeless kind, for Christ is Risen. 
St. Mary Magdalene at the tomb of Christ represents IIu- 
manity sitting in the region and shadow of death. N o'v to- 
day Christ comes forward, and speaks comfortable words to 
the human race. "Why weepest tlìOU? WILom seekest t/
ou?" 
He challenges us. "I, thy risen Saviour," He seems to say, 
" am thy consoleI'. What grief is there that I have not re- 
moved
" And is it so 
 Are all our real sorrows removed 
or alleviated by the resurrection of Christ 
 Yes; heavenly 
messengers have appeared bringing good tidings. Christ is 



THE SCHOOL OF CO:\iFORl'. 


353 


risen. "The stroli:c of our w'onnd" is healed. "To tl
em 
that sat in the region of tlw 81tadow of deatlt, light 'i8 sprung 
'lp.'? "The .Day-Sp1 J ing front on ltÍgl
 hath visited us." The 
earth feels herself to be lightened of her darkness, and in 
every church in Christendolll the cry is again and again re- 
peated: ".Alleluia: Praise the Lord." 
It ,vould be too long to atternpt to sho,v hO'w every human 
sorro,v can gather consolation froln the Resurrection of Christ. 
All I can hope to do this morning is to sho\v ho,v the three 
heaviest troubles of our race-Jonbt, guilt, and bereavement 
-find their relief in that event. 
I call doubt, guilt, and bereavement the heaviest ,voes of 
man. In regard to the first, religious doubt, many of you 
have had no experience. Brought up in the Catholic Church, 
'with her teaching ahvaJs sounding in Jour ears, JTou have 
never kno,vn \vhat it ,vas to have real doubt::; about religious 
truth. TIut there are other::; who havc known that anguish 
by experience. The soul of man thirsts for truth. Deep in 
every man's soul is a desire fvr God. It may be stifled, it 
may be silenced for a time by passion, but there it is, that 
stretching forth to the Fountain of Goodness and Beauty, 
that longing to know Him and IIis \vill. In generous souls, 
in souls that are conscious of their dignity, the finding of 
truth is an indispensable necessity. The search for truth is 
an occupation that .must be pursued ,vith \vhatever pain and 
trouble, and until it be found life is reall.y insupportable. 0 
my brethren, I do believe that there arc souls around us ,yho 
hunger for truth as a famishing man hungers for food. They 
labor and toil harder than any day-laborer. Thëy are like 
men exploring a dark and luany-chambered Inine. They go 
with stooping head, and the s\veat rolls off their foreheads, 
and their feet stumble, and with their dilll light they can see 
but a Jittle way before thmu, and they arc in danger of los- 
ing their way . No doubt they learn something; for God is 
everywhere; God is in our hearts, and in Nature, and in 




 


354 


THE TOMB OF CHRIST, 


.. 


men, and in books, and in the past, and \ve cannot look for 
llÜn any\vhere without finding IIis footprints; but we want 
Inore than this. We 'van t God to speak to us. "\Ve sigh for 

he lost happines3 of Eden, where God \yalked \vith our first 
parents in "the cool of the day." This is \vhat Inen need. 
They need God to reveal Himself to them, to give them cer- 
tainty in religions truth, at least on the most ilnportant 
points. Every\vhere men have been seeking this. "Olt that 
God would rend tl
e 1
aven8 and come down 1"* This is 
the cry of hUlnanity, that God \votlld speak to us and make 
us hear His voice. And they have sought for this voice. 
They have strained their ears to listen to it. They have 
sought it of the moon and stars as the.y moved through thp 
heavens by night; they have sought it in the \vhispers of the 
grove; they have sought it at the lips of men of science and 
pretended religious teachers. But they have Inet in such 
sources only \vith disappointment or deceit. And yet that 
voice has always been in the world. It spoke at first feebly 
and low, but louder and louder as tinle \vent on, until Jesus 
Christ came and "spake as never n1an spake." lIe claimed 
to be the Son of God, taught us clearly about God and onr 
destiny, promised His unfailing protection to His Church in 
transmitting IIis doctrine to all generations, and confirmed 
the trutl1, both of His Teaching and Promises, by rising 
from the dead aceordiñg to His "\V ord. To Hiln, therefore, 
belongs the glorious title: "Tlw Faitlif
tl and TI"ue TVit- 
neS8, tlw First-Begotten of the Dead." t Eighteen hundred 
years bave passed a\vay, but His Word has lost none of its 
authority, and no\v this morning ,ve can say, as to every. 
point of the Catholic creed, wi
h as much certainty as on the 
morning of the Resurrection the Apostles felt in regard to 
all the ,vords of Christ-" Ibelieve." 0 glorious privilege of 
a Catholic! "Rejoice," says the prophet, "and be glad in 


* Isaias Ixiv. 1. 


t Apoc. i. 5. 



THE SCnOOL OF CO
IFOHT. 


B05 


the Lord, 0 cltild,.cn if Sion, vecause I-Ie hath given to YOM 
a Teaclìer if Justice."':
 Obedient to this inspired injunc- 
tion, the Church requires the Creed to he sung at her great 
solelnnities. It is not enough to recite it. No; it Inust be 
sung, sung in full chorus, accolnpallied \\.ith instrurnents of 
nlusic. And fitting it is and right. "'tV orship ,voulll be in- 
complete \vithout it. Litanies and hymns are the means by 
,vhich the heart does homage to God; but CREDO, " 1 believe," 
that is the intellect's cry of joy at its emancipation ii'onl the 
bondage of doubt. Ob, ho,v Inistaken are those ,yho ilnagine 
that tbe articles of the Creeù are like fetters on the rnind. 
On the contrary, they are to us the evidences of that liberty 
\vherewith Christ l1as Inaàe us free. We reject telnptations 
against faith, as attacks on our happiness. "'tV c feel that to 
doubt tho- doctrine of faith \yotlld be to doubt the Son of 
God, and to doubt IIiln \vould be to discredit our o,vn soul. 
Be firnl, then, 111Y brethren in faith. Rcnlcnlber that faith 
is part of your birthright anll privilege as Christians. The 
Sepulchre of Christ is the gate to the Palace of Truth. See, 
the door is open. The stone is rolled away. Oh, enter and 
be blest. With Tholnas look at His ,younded side and say, 
" lily Lord and my God I" With Magdalene fall at His 
feet and call IfÜn "JIaster." Listen to His 'words and 
doubt no more. "Being 'nO more cl
ildren, tossed to andfl'o, 
l.tnd carried about with every wind of doctrine, out lwldiny 
the truth in cltarity, in all tldngs grow 'tip in HÏ1n who is 
the Head, Oh1"ist."t 
Again, as doubt is the bondage of the intelle
t, so guilt is 
the burden of the conscience. "\Vho can give peace to a sonl 
that has sinned? The prophet Micheas well describes the 
anxiety of snch a soul. " 1Vhat shalll offer to tlte Lord tltat 
is fwortlty ? Wlterewith shall I kneel before the Higlt God? 
Shall IotJe1' holoca'u.fSts 'ttnto Him, and calves of a year old f 


* Joel Ü. 23. 


t Eph. iv. 14. 



356 


THE TOMB OF CHRIST, 


Will He be aplJeased 'with thousands of ranzs? S/
all I git'e 
my fi/l'st-born for my wickedness, tlw fl'uit of 'Iny body fop tlw 
sin of 'IllY soul 1"* Now, n1ust ,ve for ever go on in this nn.. 
certainty 
 Shall ,ve never, after ,ve have sinned, have again 
the assurance that we are pardoned 
 J\f ust we go trembling 
all our da.ys, and be terror-stricken at the hour of death 
 Arc 
,ye left to our o,vn fancyings and feelings to decide ,vhether 
"Te are pardoned or not 
 ShaH ,ve never hear that s,veet 
consoling "
ord: "Go in peace, thy slins are forgiven thee 1" 
Yes, Christ is risen. He is come from the grave" w'ith heal- 
ing in His wings." He is COlne as a conqneror, ,vith the tro- 
phies of victory. Hear ,vhat He says of Ilin1self: "I an
 
I-Ie tllat liveth and was dead, and behold I live forever, and 
have the keys of IIell and IJeath."t He has con1e buck 
frolu the grave ,vith the keys of Hen in His hand. While 
He ,vas yet among men lIe had promised to give those 
keys to St. Peter and the Apostles, but it was only after 
His death, by ,vhich He had merited our pardon, and after 
His Resurrection, Ly ,vhich His Father had attested His 
acceptance of the Ranson1, that lIe proceeded solemnly to 
deli vel' them. "Now when it was late," saJs St. John, 
"that same day" (Easter day) "Jesus came and stood in 
the midst and said to theln: Peace be to you. As tlw 
Father hath sent Me, I also send you. When He Ilad said 
tlds, IIe breathed on tlwml: and I-Ie said to them, Receive.the 
Holy Ghost: Whose sins YO'll shall forgive, they art3 fOl'gi1)en 
tlw1Î
" and WAOS8 sins you shalll'etain, they are retai'l1ed."t 
Do you hear this, 0 sinner 
 He offers you pardon, and He 
assures you of it. All He asks of you is a true sorro,y; all 
lIe asks is a fervent and true purpose to offend HilU no lnore. 
Come, confessing your sins; come, forsaking them, and lIe 
has pronlised that His priest shall declare to you, in His 
name: "I absolve thee from thy sinH." He has prolnised to 


* Mich. vi. 6 


t Apoc. i. 18. 


+ St. John xx. 19. 



TilE SCnOOL OF CO
FOH.T. 


357 


ratify the sentence in heaven. Can you doutt His po',ver 
 
Can JOU doubt IIis truth ? No: lie has risen for onr justifi- 
cation. "What shall we say tlwn to these things? If God 
òe fo]" us, u'ho sltall be against 'll8 ? Who shall lay anythi1u} 
to the cltarge of the elect of God? It is God that jU8bJleth. 
lVlto Ù, he that sltall conrlelnn ; It is Christ that died, yea also 
Who 1..s 'risen again."* Do not look on us, the ministers of 
His grace, ,veak and frail as \,0 arc. Look at the Saviour. 
Look_at IIim dying on the cross, a ransom for our sins. Look 
at IIirn, rising from the dead on the third day, having acconl- 
plished a complete victory over our spiritual enelnies, and 
bringing to us life and pardon. See IIinl in I-lis divine 
powcr, instituting sacraments by "hich that life and pardon 
Inight be cOlnmunicated to us. Believe ni
 ,,,.ord, trnst His 
merits, llave recourse to IIis sacran1ents, and thus, "belng 
just'ified by fait/
 have once more peace witl
 God, and rejoice 
again in hope if tIle Glory of Cod."t Come, forgiven sin- 
ner, lift up your head, for God hath cleansed Jon. Be happy: 
he a Christian: he a man once more, for you arc clothed 
again in the garlnents of innocence and sanctity. It is no 
incomplete and grudging pardon TIe has gi ven you. Though 
your sins" ,vere as scarlet," they are now as "white as sno,v;" 
though they were "red like crimson," they are "as white as 
wool." "He hath cast your sins into the bottom of the sea." 
They shall never be mentioned to yon again. He has even 
restored to you again the merits you had acquired in days of 
innocence, and lost again by sin. He has "restored to you 
the years which tlte locust and the caterpillar and the mil- 
dew and the palm ell-worm hath eaten.
'+ Let, then, gratitude 
fill your heart, let joy be written on your face, and let hoJy 
resolves for the future correspond to the mercy you have 
received. 
Yes, my brethren, Christ at His Sepulchre satisfies tbe in- 
tellect and heals the conscience-and He also silences anotber 


· Rom. viii. 33. 


t Rom. v.I. 



 Joel ii. 2f. 



358 


1'HE TO
IB OF CHRIST, 


cry of human woe. It is that of ,vhich the prophet spoke 
,vhen he said: "A voice was heard if larnentation, of 
1nourning and weeping, Rachel weeping for Iwr c/
'l"ldren and 
ref1tsed to be conifo}'.ted, because tlwy are not."
f 011! it is- 
hard to see one .we.love die, .but is it not harder to our sensi- . 
tive nature to bury them? That 11lakes us feel ,vhat ,ve have 
lost. Reason tells us that the soul is Í1nmorta1, but ,ve need 
sornething lTI01'e for our comfort. The heart asks, "What is 
to becorne of the body that I loved so 11luch?" Talk <If the 
lifeless and speechless corpse. It is not lifeless and speech- 
less to me. Those cold lips Elliile the old smile on Ine, and 
,yhisper in IllY ear a thousand words of kindness. And oh, 
to part ,vith that! To lose eyen that sad comfort! To have 
the body of the dead taken away fronl us, is not that a grief
 
Such ,vas Mary l\fagdalene's sorro,v. " They have taken 
away my Lord out if the Sepulchre, and I know not where 
they have laid Hirn."t She could bear any thing but that. 
She had borne up at onr Lord's death. It was a bitter thing, 
but then she stood at the foot of the cross on ,vhich He hung, 
and she could look up at Him and see Him. She had borne 
up on Friday evening, for then she was busy preparing 11er 
spices and oinhnents. She had borne up on Saturday, for 
she ,vas thinking all day of her visit to the grave next 
morning. But on Sunday, to go and find His body gone- 
never again to look upon those lips that had spoken peace to 
her soul; never again to kiss with affection those sacred feet, 
-oh, this was too much. And Mary stood at the Sepulchre 
weeping. But lo! what voice is that which speaks: "Wo- 
man, why weepest thou 1" It is the voice of J eSllS himself, 
of J esns ,vhom she mourns. Himself, flesh and blood, the 
very Jesus whom she had known and loved. So, my breth- 
ren, as you weep at the graves of your friends, those very 
friendB stand near you and say, "Why weepest thou 
" Weep 


* Jer. xxxi. 15. 


t St. John xx. 2. 



TilE SCHOOL OF COMFORT. 


359 


not for Inc. W ccp not for Ine, childless Jnothcr ! 'V cep not 
for 111C:, IllY ol.phall child! "1'" cep not for Ine, my sorro\ving 
friend! Leave my body a\vhile in the grave. It is not dead 
but sleeps. ., FOJ" [lLUOW tllat 'lny Redeelner liveth, and in 
tIre last day I8!U.tll arise Ottt of t!w eartll. .Lind I sllall be 
clotluxl again wit1
 '1ny sl.:in and in my jlesA I snallsce my 
God: ll7loJ)[, I 'JlZ yse1.f/) s!tall see, and 'l}1 y eyes s/
all behold, 
and not anot!teì"s."* Touch Ine not yet: \vait a\vhile, and 
you shall see Iny ha.nds and feet, that it is I Inysclf. " For 
as in A dean all die, so also It"n Chl"ist all s!lall be made alive. 
But e'vC'J"Y one ù
 ILls O'lon ordel"" tIle fil'st flouits GIllist, then 
tlwy t!lat al"e of Ghrist, who have believed in His coming."t 
Strange it is that onr comfort and joy should come out of 
the grave. Bnt so it i
. By the resurrection of Christ aU 
our \\
oes are healcù. Our ue\v life springs from the sepulchre 
of Christ. Christ is ri
en ; w'e believe. Christ is risen; we are 
pardoned. Christ is risen; death loses its IJo"er to separate 
Christians. :Mourn then no longer, my brethren, it is Easter. 
Believe, and rejoice. Forsake Jour sins, and rejoice. Bury 
Jour dead in Christ, and rejoice in hope. The former things 
are passed a\vay; all things are become new. "The win tel" 
is no'll) passed; the rain is over and gone. The flowers have 
appeared,. the tin
e of pruning is come; the voice of the dove 
is heard in our lanrl.":t: It is Easter. This is that day 
"\vhich the Lord hath made." This is the Lord's Passover. 
The Red Sea is crossed: we are delivered out of Egypt, and 
are nlarching to the prolnised land. It is Easter. Mary has 
be
 at the sepulchre early this morning and has seen the 
Saviour. Jesus has appeared in the midst of the disciples, 
saying, "Pear;e be 
ith you." Some hav
 known Him in 
breaking of bread. To somp He has drawn near as they 
walked along and discoursed together. Some that ,vere sad 
He bas cOlnforted. I-Iow has it been with each of yon 
 Has 


* Job xix. 25. 


t I. Cor. xv. 22. 


t Cant. it II, 12. 



360 ST. MARY MAGDALENE AT THE SEPULCHRE. 


this day been a day of joy to YOll 
 Has it a,vakencd you to 
new life, ne\v hopes, ne,v aspirations? or does it find you 
cold, dead to spiritual things, perhaps not even in the grace 
of God, and in love with 
rour sins! Oh, at least now R\yake 
to the hopes and desires of a Christian. "l"'he day is far 
spent J. it dl'aweth toward evening." Let not this glorious 
feast depart and leave you as you are. While angels and the 
Son of God are abroad on the earth, scattering grace and 
consolation, do not you alone remain unblest. Claim your 
privileges as a Christian, and, risen \vith Christ in baptisln, 
seek those things that are above, where Christ sitteth at the 
righ t hand of God. 
And you, faithful souls who have done your duty, ,vho 
haye found in this Feast a joy and cOlnfort that passes under- 
standing, know that the gladness of Easter is but an earnest of 
another day, the great day of eternity, \vhich will open on 
the morning of resurrection, and which knows no evening; 
which has no need of the sun, for God is the light thereof; 
when God shall wipe away all tears; and death shall be no 
more; and sorrow and sighing shaH flee a,vay. 


. 


SER}ION XV. 


ST. MARY MAGDALENE .AT THE SEPULCHRE. 


(EASTER SUNVAY.*) 


"But He rising early the first day or the week, appeared first to Mary :Mag- 
dalene."-ST. MARK XVI. 9. 


ST. MARY MAGDALENE may be called the Saint of the Re- 
surrection. She is intimately associated with that event in 
the pages of the Scriptures, and in the minds of Christians. 


· The substance of this sermon is from St. Thomas of Villanova. 



ST. }IARY MAGDALENE AT THE SEPULCHRE. 361 


Indeed, the Gospel account of the Resurre
tion enl braces an 
alrnost continuou:; record of the actions of this ho1J" ''''OIna.n 
from the Crucifixion until Easter day; and I have thought 
that in tracing that record this rnorning, ,vhile I aln present- 
ing to you the great Inystery of to-clay's celebration, I shall 
at the saIne tiine be pointing out to you the means of obtaining 
those graces ,vhich our risen Lord has come to ilnpart. St. 

Iary 1\Iagdalene's history for these three days is a history 
of love. Every thing she does, every thing she says, is a proof 
of her love for our Lord. And the distinguishing favors our 
Lord bestowed on her are a pledge of what we Inay look for 
to-day, if we irnitate her Jove. 
First, then, w'e are told, that when our Lord ""as taken do,vn 
from the cross, and laid in the new tOlub of Joseph of Ari- 
rnathea, sþe ,vent "and saw how the body ""as laid." One 
might have thought it ,vonld have satisfied her to stand by 
tbe cross, through those fearful hours, till it ,vas an over, and 
then to have returned hOtne. No; love will see the last. 
She ""ill follo\v on to the grave. It is true the dead bodies 
of our friends feel not our kindness, but still "e ,vant them 
treated w'ith tenderness and care. So 1.Iary follows the 
corpse to the burial, and, \vhel1 it is laid in the sepulchre, she 
looks in to see ho\v it is laid. Not a superficial look: no, 
an earnest scrntinizing gaze. She sees ho\v the drooping 
heaå lays on its stony pillow, and ho\v the pierced hands 
and feet are disposed. She lnakes a picture of it all in her 
own 1I1ind, and" then returns to the city to prepare spices 
and ointments." X O\V, there ,vas no need at all of this. 
Nicodemus had COIne, as soon as Pilate had given the dis- 
ciples possession of our Lord's body, and brought" a mixture 
of myrrh and aloes, a hundred pounds 'weight." But 1Iary 
does not care for that. Others may do ,vhat good ,yorks they 
choose, but she ,vill not be cheated of hers. And what she 
does she will do prodigally, too. It was her way. Yon 
rClnCßlber how, at the house of Simon, she brought her ala- 
16 


. 



362 ST. MARY :MAGDALENE AT THE SEPULCHRE. 


baster box of ointlnent, and broke it, and scattered it over 
the feet of J esns, so that the whole house ,,,as filled \vith the 
perfume; and ho,y Judas found fault ,vith her, saying, " Tbis 
ointment n1Ïght have been sold for n10re than three hundred 
pence, and given to the poor." Our Lord attelnpted then to ex- 
cuse her extravagance, saying, " She hath done this against the 
dayofn1Y burial." No, she 'would do itthen, and she ,vould do it 
at IIis burial, too. Nicoden1us and" the holy 'VOlnen " lnay 
bring as lnnch as they like, but she w'ill do her part. Precious 
and costly shall her offering be as she can Blake it, not be- 
canse lIe needs it, but because her heart is straitened to ex- 
press its love. It is her pleasure to spend and be spent for 
Hilñ ,vhom she loved; and aU she can do is too little. 
But \vhi1e 1tlary's love was il11pulsive and generous, it ,vas 
obedient. " She rested on the Sabbath day, according to the 
commandlnent." Here is a test of true love. We want to 
do sOlnething very lnuch; 've think the lTIoti ve is good; but 
there COllies a providential obstacle in the way. 'Ve cannot 
do it just no,v. 'Ve cannot do it just in the way ,ve ,vant. And 
too often our love is not pure enough for this test. 'Ve 1l1nr- 
mur and c0111plain, and cornmit a thousand disobediences, and 
show ho,v lTIuch self. love had to do ,vith our undertakings. 
It ,vas not so "ith this holy 'VOlnan. She waited all the 
Sabbath day. It ,vas God's command. The seventh day 
was kept by the Jews ,vith a ceremonial strictness that for- 
bade all ,york; and she would keep the comn1andment to the 
lctter. So not a step would she take on the Sabbath, not 
even to the Saviour's grave. I an1 sure that Sabbath ,vas a long 
one to her. Never ,vas time's foot so heavy. Never 
did the hours go so slo,v. Never ,vere the sacred services so 
tedious. A thousand tin1es she goes to the windo,v to see if 
the shadO"ws ,vere getting long, and each tin1c it seems to her 
that the sun is standing still. 0 loving heart! loving in 
\vhat she did not do, as ,veIl as in ,vhat she did. She ,vill 
not take liberties ,yith her conscience. She will not be 



ST. 
ARY 
'[AGD..\.LEYE AT THE SEPULCHRE. 363 


officious or intrnsi\"e. She ,vill not ple9.se herself on pretence 
of doing son1ething for God. And so, though her heart is at the 
sepulchre all day, though she yearns to go thither, not a foot 
will she stir, not a hand ,vill she lift, tin she knows that the 
fitting time is come. ITer love ""as that oi 1 de1'ly cAa1'ity of 
"rhich the IIoly Scripture speaks.* 
But the longest day has an end, and the end of that Sab- 
bath at last arrived. The sun sinks beneath the horizon. 
The evening sacrifice is over. Darkness falls npon the temple 
aisles, and the last worshipper departs. By degrees the streets 
of Jerusalem become silent and deserted. It is nlght, a 
glorious night; for the fnll paschal 11loon ponrs do,vn its 
floods of light upon the holy city. And no\v the gùod 
,,"oman, laden with her ointments and spices, scts out for the 
sepulchre. Alone, or only ,vith a feeble,voInan like herself. 
she goes out late at night, and ","hither? To a garden out- 
side the city, where a band of soldiers keep ,vatch over a 
grayc, closed with a great stone, and sealcd \vith the seal of 
state. Is she not afraid? Docs she 110t run a thousanù risks 
 
Even supposing she reaches the place in safety, will sbe be 
permitted to approach the graye 
 Who ,,,,ill roll the s..tone 
frOln the door 
 Who 'will dare to break the seal? 0 holy 
boldness of love! ,vhich, when a duty is to be done, asks lJí) 
questions, and knows no difficulties. 0 love! stronger · 
than death, despising torments and casting out fear! flero 
is the wisdom of the saints. Here is the secret of all the great 
things that have been done for God. There is a higher 'wi:;- 
dom and a higher prudence than the wisdon1 and the prudence 
of this world. There is a trust in God ",-hich is ever regarded 
as daring and enthusiastic, but which God justifies, ancllnen 
themselves are forced at last to applaud. 
Such were the sentiments with which St. 
Iary Magdalenp 
went to the sepulchre. But here a new circumstance de- 


* Cant. ii. 4. 



364 ST. MARY MAGDALENE AT THE SEPULCHRE. 


mands our attention. She set out, we are told, "while it ,vas 
yet dark." It was night, the dead of night, when shê left 
her house, and she did not reach the sepulchre till" the sun 
was risen." How did this happen 
 Jhe place in "rhich our 
Lord was crucified was, as the evangelist tell
 us, "near the 
city." .And, one reason why Pilate suffered the disciples to 
lay our Lord's body in Joseph's tomb was, because it was 
close to the place of c
cifixion, and the body could be laid 
there before the Passover began. What, then, delayed St. 

rary Magdalene so long 
 What is the meaning of this 
 
so prolnpt and eager in setting out, so tardy in arri ving 
 
Love, again, my brethren, is the explanation. She had to 
pass through the city. Her road was what is called the "Way 
of Sorrows," which Jesus took when lIe was led to Calvary, 
and along which she had followed IIim on Good Friday. 
Ho,v could she go fast 
 Every step brought its own nlemo- 
ries. There 'Was the house of Caiaphas. There the judgment- 
hall of Pilate. There the balcony at which Jesus had been 
presented to the cro,vd, clad in a purple robe and crowned 
with thorns. There stood the pillar at which He had been 
scourged, and there was the spot at which he had fallen un- 
der the weight of His cross, and it was given to Simon of 
Cyrene to carry. No, her conrse was a pilgrimage. Each 
step was a holy station, at ,vhich she stopped awhile to pray 
and call to mind the events of that dreadful morning. And 
when she came to Calvary, where the cross was still standing, 
and threw herself on the ground to kiss the sod still wet with 
the Saviour's Blood, the hours pass by unheeded, for Jesus 
hangs there again, and Mary, ills mother, is by her side, and 
each tender word, each look of sorrow is again repeated. 
Love meditates. Love lingers in the footsteps of its beloved, 
and the shortest, s\veetest hours it :finds on earth are hours 
of prayer. 'Vhat wonder, then, that 
rary kneels, embracing 
the foot of the cross, in perfect forgetfulness of all else be- 
sides, until, as she raises her eyes to cast an adoring glance, 



ST. MARY l.L\.GDALE
E AT THE SEPCLCHRE. 365 


she sees that the cross is gilded by the l:ed gleam of the com- 
ing Easter sun-that it is already day. Thus recalled to 
hersel
 she kisses tbat sa(1red tree for the last tÏ1ne, tears her- 
self from it, and hurries off to fulfil the ,york she had in 
hand. 
And she arrived at the sepulchre just in time, or rather 
God was there to meet her to re\vard her love. For the mo- 
ment she arrived, "there was a great earthquake, and an an- 
gel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled 
back the stone, and sat upon it. And his countenance \vas 
like lightning and his raiment as snow. .And for fear of him 
the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men. 
Ap.d the angel, answering, said to the woman: 'Fear not 
you, for I know that you seek Jesus who ,vas crucified. 
IIe is not here, for lIe is risen, as lie said. Come and see 
the place where the Lord was laid. ..And go quicldy, tell his 
disciples that lIe is risen, and behold, TIe "ill go ùefore you 
into Galilee. And they went out quickly from the sepulchre 
with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples.'.;f See 
her running from the sepulchre as fast as she had so lately run 
to it; for 10\"e easily changes its employment at the voice of 
its beloved. She had come to anoint the body of Jesus; 
there is no need of that now, for Jesus is alive; but still 
there is sometbing to do for Jesus-to ten nis disciples. 
Peter, James, John, and the other disciples are at home, 
sorrowful and fearful. He whom they loved and trusted is 
no more; and they, whither shall they go 
 Besides this, 
there was an additional sorrow. They had forsaken their 
good Master in the day of His distress; Peter had even ùe- 
nied ,vith an oath t11at he knew Him; and they now sat 
depressed and anxious in tI1at upper chamber in which so 
lately they had eaten the Passover with Him. But lie is 
alive! and Mary knows it! Shall she wait to see IIim 
 No, 


* St. Matt. nvili. 2-8. 



366 ST. :MARY MAGDALE:NE AT 'rHE SEPULCHRE. 


sbe must go quickly and tell His disciples. "This comlnand- 
merit have "\ve from God, that lIe that loveth God, love his 
brother also." -* And :M:ary leaves the sepulchre, leaves 
Christ, to go and carry the joyful new.s to His afflicted breth- 
ren. With nimble feet, with eager countenance, she returns 
to the city,. seeks out the well-known house, and appears in 
the midst of the sorrowing group, with the exclalnation: 
" Jesus is alive! lIe is risen from the-dead I" 
Alas! poor l\Iagdalene ! " Her ,vords seellled to then1 as 
an idle tale." To us, falniliar with the doctrine and proofs 
of our Lord's Resurrection, it is wonderful how slo,v the 
apostles were to believe it. No doubt, their slowness to 
believe is a beuefit to us, because it ,vas the occasion of mul- 
tiplying the proofs. Perhaps, too, it was not unnatural; for 
faith does not come all at once. There is often a period be- 
tween doubt and faith, a period of inconsistency; in which 
one is at one InOlnent all Christian, and at another believes 
nothing. Certainly it ,vas so .with the apostles on Easter 
Day, and ]'Iary ]'fagdalene seen1S to have shared their infirm- 
ity. The apostles, as soon as they had heard the ne,vs that 
Christ has risen, set out for the sepulchre. When they came 
to the place, they found indeed the grave open, and the 
linen cloths, in ,vhich the Lord's body had been ,vrappcd, 
lying in it, and the guard gone; but I-lirn they sa,v not. 
}'Iary l\Iagdalene accompanied theIn, and when she saw 
neither the Lord Hin1self, nor the angel ,,,ho had spoken to 
her, and "hen she saw the incredulous looks of the disciples, 
she herself began to doubt. But though her faith ,vas ,veak, 
her love ,vas strong; and she stood at the door of the sepul- 
chre, weeping. At least she ,vill not give up the idea of find- 
ing the Lord's body, and carrying out her first intention of 
embalming it. So she stands at the sepulchre, and looks in. 
She had looked in n1any tin1es already; she had every corner 


. I. St. John iv. 21. 



ST. ltL\RY :MAGDALE
E AT THE SEPULcnllE. 367 


of it by heart; but she looks in again. She ,vill :3ee the 
place ".here the Lord lay, if she cannot see IIilnself: and 
lo! this time she sees a ne\v sight. There are two angels, 
in white, sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, 
,vhere the body of Jesus hacllain. Angels again! but this 
titne not angels of fear, ,vith a terrible countenance, as the 
first had been, but angels of comfort and peace. ..A.nd they 
spoke to her: "W olnan, ,vhy \veepest thou? Why clost 
thou seek the living among the dead?" One ,,"ould have 
thought it was something to see an angel, and hear his voice: 
but this good WOlnan lnakes very 1ittle of it. No angel will 
satisfJ her no,,,. "They have taken a,vay ll1Y Lord," she 
replies, "and I kno,v not wbere they haye laid IIim 
" Is 
not this grief enough 
 to have lost a Lord, a Friend, a Sa- 
viour, such as J esns ,vas, -and not even to have so much as 
His lifeless body left on w'hich to lavish her endearJnents. 
o my brethren, no created thing can satisfy the soul. I say 
not, though \,ye had all tbe treasures of earth, but though ,ve 
had all tbe treasures of heaven; though angels and saints 
were ours; though wc bad visions and revelations; yet all 
would be nothing if 'we had not God. IIeaven \vollld be 
bell lvithout HÜn, and at tbe very gate of Paradise tbe soul 
would weep and say, "They have taken aw'ay my Lord." 
But at this point a new actor appears on the scene. A 
ll1an approaches, and addresses Magdelene in the same words 
that the angels had used: "W olnan, ,vhy weep est thou? 
Whom seekest thou?" She takes him for the gardener, and 
suddenly a suspicion seizing her that he n1ight kno,v somc- 
thing of the treasure she had lost., turned upon hiln and said: 
" Sir, if tbou hast borne HÏ1n Rway, tell nle "here thou hast 
laid Hin1 ; and I will take HÏ1n away." She does not ans\v'er 
his question. She does not tell him ,vhon1 she is seeking. 
For, as St. Bernard observes, " Love in1agines everyone is as 
full of the object of its love as it is itself ;" and so she says: 
"If thou hast borne Him aw'ay, tell me where thou hast laid 



368 ST. MARY MAGDALENE AT THE SEPULCHRE. 


Hirn, and I will take Him away." No need to D;lention Ilis 
N alne. All things kne,v it. The sun publishes it. It is 
,vritten on the leaves. The ,vind utters it. It is the Name 
that is above every name-the Name at which every knee 
must bow. " Tell me where thou hast laid HiIn, and I will 
go and carry Him a,vay." What, you 1 a weak WOlnan! 
Can you carry away a heavy corpse 
 Yes, she can; and 
they that doubt it do not know how strong love is, ho,v great 
a weight it can carry, what hard things it can do, and how it 
makes a nlan do what is above nature, or, rather, how, with 
faith and grace, it brings out the power that is in these hu- 
man hearts of ours, and awakens their latent energies. 
And now Jesus can restrain Himself no longer; for Jesus 
it is who now speaks with her. She had charged Him with 
taking away the Sacred Body, aiId she was right. He it 
was ,vho had taken it from the grave. "I have power to 
lay it down," said He, 't, and I have power to take it up 
again. ,,* Yes, it was Jesus. He had seen her tears, listened 
to her complaint, watched her efforts, and now the time had 
come when He would disclose Himself to her. He said to 
her: "Mary I" Oh! what voice is that 
 'Vhat sweet and 
tender memories it wakes up 1 The h01l1e of Bethany, the 
banqueting-hall of Simon, Mount Calvary, all are brought 
before her. She turns and looks keenly at the speaker, and 
one look is enough. It is He, the same-the very same who 
spoke pardon and peace to her soul, when first, a guilty 
woman, she had washed His feet with her tears. It is Jesus. 
He lives again. And, with her accustomed salutation, sho 
kneels before Hin1, and says: "Rabboni!" which is to say, 
]'Iaster 1 
How nluch is expressed in this brief intervie\v. " l\Iary !" 
It is a word of gentle reproach. Mary, dost thou not reríleln- 
ber My words-My promise-that I would rise again 
 Mary, 
-dost thou not believe 1\1:yangels, bearing testimony to M, 


· St. John x. 18. 


" 



ST. MAH.Y :llAGDALENE AT THE SEPlJLCHRE. 369 


Resurrcction? 
IarJ', ,vhose brother Lazarus I have raise<l 
from the grave, dost thou not think that I alll as po,,'crful to 
rise from the dead as to restore life to others? "Mary I"
 It 
is a tertn of affection. As lllnch as to say: I alll riscn; but 
I am still thy friend. I ùo not forget the past, and now', on 
this glorious lllorning of 1.Iy Resurrection, I tell thee that I 
know thee by thy nallle, and love thee ,vith the saIne love 
,,,,ith which I loved thee in the days of My sorrow'. And, 
"Mastel" /" is her fitting reply. "
Iaster of Ill)" heart, ,,,,holl1 
only I have loved I" "Master of Iny faith, ,,'hoIn now' I 
acknowledge as indeed risen froll1 the dead I" "ltiaster, whose 
Truth and Pow"er I have been so slow' to unùerstand I" 
"Master, whonl all IllY future life shaH llonor and obey I" 
o happy 1.Iagdalene! Her search is ended. Her tears are 
dried. 0 j
y beJ'ond all thought 1 She has seen IIiln, and 
talked ,vith Him 1 
o my brethren, need I say 11101'e 
 lIas not St. 
Iagdalelle 
preached an Easter sermon? Love is the way to kecp this 
feast. Lo've is the ,vay to f
\ith and joy. It is the 'VfiY to 
faith, for our Lord says: "If any luan shall do the ,viII öf 
God he shall know' of the doctrine, 'whether it is of God."* 
It is said of 1.Iagdalene that she loved much because she 'vas 
pardoned much; I say she believed much because she loved 
much. And love is the ,yay to joy. "\Vho are they that are 
truly happy on this day 
 They ,vho with 
Iagdalene have 
sought Jesus; they ,vho by a true confession and a devout 
cOlurnunion have united thclnselves to the risen Saviour, and 
conversed ,vith him in s\veet fruniliarity. For to thenl our 
Lord speaks and saJs: "Fear not, I have called thee by thy 
name, thou art nline. I am the Lord, thy Saviour, thy Re- 
deemer, the 
lighty One of Jacob. Behold 1.Iy hands and 
feet, that it is I !nyself 1 Fear not, Israel Iny.chosen, and 
Jacob Inine elect, for I am He that liveth and ,vas dead, and 
have the keys of hell and death. And behold 1 I am alive 
for ever Jnore I" 
16* . St. John vii. 17. 



:3"70 


THE PREACHER, 


SER
fON XVI. 


THE PREACHER, THE ORGAN OF THE HOLY GHOST. 


(FOURTH 8UKDAY AFTER EASTER.) 


U When He the Spirit of Truth shall come, He will lead you into nll truth." 
Sr. JOHN XVI. 13. 


I NEED hardly say that the ,vords" all tr
dA" in this prom- 
ise mean all truth relating to our salvation. It is no part of 
our Lord's plan to teach us the truths of natural science. 
He leaves us to discover these by our own intelligence. lIe 
comes to teach us faith and moraIs-"what we are to believe, 
and ,vhat we are to do, in order to be sa ved. He did this 
while lIe ,vas on earth by His conversations with IIis disci- 
ples, and by nis public sermons to the J e,vs; but fIe proln- 
ised that this ,york should be carried on after His death 
more extensively and systell1atically. Thus, in the ,vords of 
the text: "Wlwn Ile tILe S'piJ'it of Truth sl
all corne He will 
lead yo
t into all tl'"utn."* And again: "TILe .l}araclete, tlw 
Ifoly GAost, W/
om tILe Fatne'l" will send in JIy name, He 
will teacA you, all things and will b1 1 ing all t/
ings to your 
mind w!tatsoeveí 1 I sl/;all have said to you."t It çannot but 
be a rnatter of interest to inquire in what manner this prom- 
ise has been fulfilled. 
I answer, the IToly Ghost leads us into all truth necessary 
to our sal vation by the public preaching of the Word of God. 
If we exan1ine our Lord's "vords attentively, 'va shaH be led 
to the conclusion that the Ininistry of the IIoly Ghost to 
,vhich lIe alludes is a public 111inistry. His o,vn ]ninistry 
was a public one, and in pron1ising that the I101y GI
ost 
should carry it on and conlplete it, He leads us to anticipate 
that the ministry of the Holy Ghost would also be public. 


* St. John xvi. 13. 


t St. John xiv. 26. 



THE ORGA
 OF 'rEE HOLY GHOST. 


371 


And IIis ow'n subsequent language sho\ys that this iG really 
so, and acquaints us \vith the ,yay in ,vhich this Ininistry is 
to be exercised. Just beforo onr Lord's Ascension lIe Inet 
the .A.posUes on a mountain in Galilee, and said to thenl: 
"All power is given to .lJIe in heaven and in ear.th. Go ye. 
tlwrefo're, and teaclb all nations,. bapt'l.zing them in the naJ1U' 
0/ the FatlwT and of tlw Son and of tlte Holy Ghost,. teaeltiny 
tltem to oòserve all things whatsoeveJ' I have commanded YOIt ; 
and behold I aJ1
 u:ith YOltJ all days, even to the consu1nmatio/1. 
of the wOl'ld."* August and e:\.tensive as this cOlnlnission 
,vas, it did not by itself quali
y the .l\.postles for their great 
work. They were to wait in J erUSnlelTI "till they were en- 
dued ,,,iih po'wer frorn on high." This c. po,ver" was the 
Holy Ghost which actually did descend on them at t1}e feast 
of Pentecost. IIe1'e we find a company of nlen conlnli::;- 
sioned by Christ to teach tbe "Torld in IIis name, and eln- 
po,vered by the IIoly Ghost for that purpose. We find these 
Inen afterward every\vherc clain1Ïng to be the organs of 
the Holy Ghost. Thus, at the council of J erusalenl, they 
did not hesitate to publish their decrees ,vith this preface: 
"It liath seemed good to the IIoly Ghost and to us."t And 
St. Paul tells the bishops of Ephe
us, that they ,yore placed 
over the Church" by tIle Holy Gliost."+ 
Now, who does not see here the realization and fulfil- 
Inent of the great promise of Christ which I have quoted as 
my text 
 That teaching of the Holy Ghost which ,vas to 
follow IIis, ,vhich was to bring all things to remembrance 
which lIe had said, "Tbich ,vas to abide forever, and which 
was to make kno\vn all11ecessary truth, was the teaching of 
the Apostles and their successors. It is the teaching of tlH 
Holy Ghost, because the Holy Ghost nl0yeS theln to preach, 
furnishes them with the rule of their doctrine, and gives thCll1 
their ,varrant and authority. In this sense it is tbat our 
Lord's promise is to be understood. It is a promise that 
* St. Matt. xxviii. 18-20. t Acts xv. 28. t Acts xx. 28. 



372 


THE PREACHER, 


reaches to all time. It concerns us here and now. It as- 
sures us that at this day, far removed as we are from the 
times of Christ, across so rnany centuries, the Holy Ghost 
through the agency of the Ohurch still brings to us the echoes 
of His words. He does this in tbe 1110st solemn and authori- 
tative w'ay by those great decisions of the Church to which 
He sets the seal of' His Infallibility; but he does it in less 
solemnity, less authoritatively, but Inore frequently, by the 
preaching of each individual priest. It is for this end that 
the priest is ordained. He is consecrated and set apart, not . 
merely to say Mass, not merely to receive the confessions of 
penitent sinners and absolve them, but to publish the Word 
of God; aud He is ell1powered by the I-Ioly Ghost for this 
very purpose. The Christian preacher is no mere lecturer, 
but an authorized agent and J11eSsenger of God, to deliver 
to the people the will of God. It is chiefly by the ordinance 
of preaching, in its various forn1s, that the Holy Ghost car- 
ries on the work of instructing men's faith, and regulating 
their morals. 
And here, I think, is to be found the real ans\ver to a Inis.. 
conception of our principles so common among Protestants. 
It is very commonly said and believed that the Catholic 
Church \vishes to keep the people in ignorance of the Scrip- 
tures. Now, this is not true. The Church does not ,vish to 
keep the Scriptures from the people. On the contrary, in 
all cases in which they are likely to prove beneficial she ap- 
proves and encourages their use; but she does not regard the 
reading of the Scriptures as the necessary, or even as the 
ordinary m,ode of falniliarizing the people ,vith th
 Word of 
God. Thousands have gone to beaven wbo never read one 
page of the Bible. 81. Irenæus instances whole nations who 
professed and practised Christianity in entire ignorance of 
the Divine Records. IIow many people in every generatiou 
are unable to read. Now, God has not made a twofold sys- 
tem of salvation; one 1)1. the jgnorant and one for the cdu- 



THE ORGAN OF THE HOLY GHOST. 373 


cated. No: according to the Catholic idea, for rich anù 
poor, for learned and unlearned alike, there is one ,vay of 
truth-the living voice of the preacher. This is God's way. 
This is the Voice of the IIoly Ghost. This is the publication 
of the Word of God. This is the s\vord of the Spirit. The 
decree has never been revoked: "The pl ' ieSt'S lips t
/Lall keep 
la
owledge,. and the people shall seek the la
() at 'Lis mouth ,. 
because he is the 7rWssenger of tILe Lord of Hosts.'
 * 
But an objection Inay be dra,vn against this high view of 
the ordinance of preaching, frol11 the infirmities of the 
preacher himself. It may be said : You tell us that the 
Holy Ghost speaks by the voice of the preacher, yet the 
preacher is but p. falliblem an, ignorant of Inany things, 
liable to be deceived hilnself, not free from passions which 
may affect his judgment. May he not falsify his message 
 
May lIe not dishonor it 
 I do not deny the fact on which 
this objectiol!. is founded. Undoubtedly, the preacher may be 
unfaithful in the delivery of his lnessage. In the Catholic 
Church, however, the watchfulness of discipline, and the 
general "acquaintance on the part of the people with the 
standards of faith and practice, will prevent any very serious 
error finding its way into the public teaching of the priest. 
Who supposes, for instance, that any Catholic congregation 
would tolerate froln the pulpit a denial of Transubstantia- 
tion, or the true Divinity of our Lord, or the necessity of 
good works
 But within a certain lilnit, no doubt, there 
may be D1uch hnperfection in the preacher, lnuch that de- 
tracts from the purity, the tnajesty, and the dignity of the 
Word o( God. What then 1 I affirm, nevertheless, that 
preaching is the great instrument of the 11o]y Ghost for the 
COD version of souls. Strange, that we should start back at 
every new Inanifestation of a la,v that goes all through 
(,hristianity, and even t.hrough all the arrangements of the 


* Mal. ii. t;. 



374 


THE PREACHER, 


natural world. In every department of human life, God 
makes man His representative-man fallible anù ,veak. 
The judge on the bench represents God's Wisdom and 
Equity, though his decisions are often far enough fronl that 
Divine pattern. The nlagistrate represents God's authorit.y, 
though in his hands that authority is sometirnes lnade the 
warrant for tyranny and oppression. So, in like manner, 
the preacher represents the Holy Ghost, though he does not 
always represent Hiln ,vorthily either in manner or Jllatter. 
It is part of a plan. He who chooses luan, sinful like our- 
selves, and encolnpassed \vith infirnlities, to convey His par- 
don to the guilty, chooses as the organ of the Eternal 'Vis- 
dom, "Itoly, one, manifold, subtle, eloquent, tttndefiled, h,av- 
ing all power, overseeing all th,ings, the Bl>igldnes8 of .Bìer- 
nal Light, the tttnspotted mÍ1>'ror of God's JJIajesfy.x-- lllan , 
with stalnmering lips, ,vith a feeble intellect and an Í1npure 
heart. And there is a reason in this plan. "\Vhen the 
Church goes out to evangelize a ne,v and strange people, she 
seeks, as soon as possible, t9 secure SOlne of the natives to 
aid her in her work, who know the speech, and the manners, 
and the habits of thought, of those with ,vhom they have to 
deal. No doubt her old, tried missionaries could furnish an 
instruction which would be more complete in itself, but the 
words of the neophyte \vill be better understood and received. 
So God, when He speaks to luan, chooses as I-lis instrument 
one who understands the dialect of earth. An angel would 
be a messeng
r answering better to I-lis dignity, but less to 
our necessities; so lIe considers our welfare alone, and 
passes by Raphael, "who is one of the daily angels," and 
Michael, ",vho is one of the chief princes," and Gabriel, 
who is the 8trength of God, and chooses Moses, who ,vas 
"slow of speech," and Jeremias, who ,vas diffident as a 
child, and Amos, who ,vas but a herdsman, follo\ving tl e 


* Wisd. vii. 22-26. 



THE ORGAN OF THE HOLY GITOST. 87p 


flock-to utter IIis will to nutn. The IHunan alloy in the 
Divine Word, no doubt, makes it less accurate, but it Inakes 
it 1noro easily understood. Oh! it is a mercy of God thus 
to disguise IIimself and dilute IIis "\Y ord. The children of 
Israel said to 
Ioses: "Speak tlLolt to 1lS, and we willlwal'. 
Let not tILe Lord speak any 1nore to IllS, lest we die." oX- 'Yho 
could look upon the Lord and livc 1 'Vho could listen to 
Iris voicc in its untcn1pered n1ajesty and not be afraid? 
"Tlw Iwor(Z of God is more penetrating than any two-edged 
swol'd, reacldng 'unto tILe division of the 80ul and tlte spirit, 
of tlte joints also, and tlte 'lnarrow." t Do not bc displeased, 
then, because God has sent to thee a lnessenger like thyself, 
one who speaks thy language, ,vho shares thy ignorance and 
thy frailties; pardon him, forgive him his defccts, stra
a 
your ear to detect in his lo,vly language SOlne notes of that 
great message of Eternal Truth and Infinite Love, thc story 
so old yet ever new-the love of Christ, the ,vill of God, the 
end of man, grace, holiness, and eternity, those things on 
which depend our happiness here and our salvation here- 
after. 
But here I feel as if I ought to add a word or two of ex- 
planation. 'Vhen I say that the Holy Ghost teaches by the 
voice of the preacher, I do not mean to assert that lIe teaches 
in no other way. A very great part of the preacher's mefì- 
sage consists of truths which are already written by the finger 
of God on every man's natural conscience. A preacher is 
not required to Inake us understand that it is wrong to break 
the precepts of the moral law. Natural reason, the light 
that enlighteneth every man that comes into this wOf
ld, tells 
us that. I could not but be struck the "Other day, as I passed 
two Joung men in the street, at hearing the honest protest 
with which one of them met the sophistry in which his COlTI- 
panion was evidently trying to indoctrinate him: '.i What I"
 


* Exod. xx. 19. 


t Heb. iv. 12. 



376 


THE PREACHER, 


said he, "you don't mean to say it isn't a sin to get drunk I"
 
Indeed, it is seldom that men justify themselves for actions 
that are plainly wrong. They are still too full of the Holy 
Ghost for that. Passion corrupts their will, but does not 
always darken their understanding. They know the right 
while they pursue the wrong. But this circumstance does 
not make the office of the preacher unnecessary; by no 
means. On the contrary, it is from this that the preacher 
derives a great part of his po\ver. What he says finds an 
echo in the hearts of his hearers. One of the strongest 
things that St. Paul said in his defence before Agrippa was the 
appeal: "King Agrippa, believest tl
ou the propl
ets? I 
know that tl
ou believest." * And so when the preacher is 
speaking before a congregation, of justice, of temperance, of 
judglnent to come, do you know what it is that gives him 
such boldness and daring 
 My brethren, I will tell you a 
secret. Perhaps you may sometimes have felt surprise when 
you have heard us, who have so many reasons for feeling dif- 
fident before you, so keen in denouncing your sins, so vehe- 
ment in urging you to your duties. Are \ve not afraid of 
\vounding your pride, of alienating your affections ? No: 
it is in your hearts that we have our strength. We would 
Dot dare to speak 'So unless we knew that we had a powerful 
ally in your hearts-your better nature, your reason, your 
conscience, the divinity that is within you. It is the greatest 
mistake in the world to suppose that it is. unnecessary to tell 
people what they know already. Half the good advice that 
is given in the world consists of the most commonplace and 
familiar. truths, but \vill anyone say for that reason that it 
is useless? No: the fact is, it is a great help to hear our 
O\Vll convictions uttered outside of us. A man believes 
lTIOre, is more conscious of his belie
 his belief becomes more 
distinct, more serviceable, when he hears it from another's lips. 


* Acts xxvi. 27. 



THE ORGA
 OF THE HOLY GHOST. 377 


What a mercy of God it is, then, in a world like this, where 
there are so luany temptations, where there are 80 1n3.ny evil 
pxamples, so much to draw off the mind from God, ,,'here it 
is 60 easy to obscure the line bet,vcen right and ,vrong, that 
there should be an authoritative voice lifted up from time to 
time in ,varning! What a Inercy, in those dreadful moments 
when the conflict rages high between passion and principle,and 
the soul, weary of the strife, is on the point of surrender, to be 
re-enforced by God Almighty's aid-to hear nis voice anlid 
the strife, saying: "T/
is is the way,. 'lL'allt ye in it I"
 * 
And then it must be remembered, too, that there is much 
of the preacher's message that is not known to man's natural 
reason, consisting of mystedes deep and high, which at the 
best can be known only in part; and it is apparent 110w 
much it must depend on the preacher's office to keep these 
mysteries in luen's minds, and to secure for them a place in 
men's intelligence and affections. The Christian Faith has 
always, from the beginning, been surrounded by adversaries 
who have attacl
ed it, now on one side, now on another. 
Weare apt to think it our peculiar misfortune to hear con- 
tinually the doctdnes of our faith disputed; but in fact such 
has been, more or less, the trial of each generation of Chris- 
tian believers. Now, amid such ceaseless cöntroversies, what 
means has our Lord left to protect and defend His people from 
doubt and error 
 The ministry of preaching. Therefore, 
says the Holy Scripture: "Some He gave to òe Apostles, and 
some prophets, and others evangelists, and otlMTS pastors and 
teacheTs, that we 'lnay not now be children, tossed to and fro, 
and carried about 'with every wind of rloct'pine, in the w1:ck- 
edness of men, in craftiness by which they lie in wait to de- 
ceive."t It is the office of the preacher to ùeclare Christian 
doctrine, to defend and explain it, to sho,v its consistency 
and excellence, to answer objections against it, and thus to 


.. Isaiah xxx. 21. 


t Eph. xi. 11-14. 



878 


THE PREACHER, 


add to the power of hereditary faith the force of personal 
conviction. The Church has al\vays understood this, and 
therefore, \vhenever a lle\V heresy arises, she scnds out a new 
phalanx of preachers to confront it by good and sound doc- 
I 
trine. And the enelTIies of the Church ha\e always under- 
stood it, and therefore, in times of persecution, \vhen they 
wished to deal the Christian faith a deadly blo\v, they sought 
in the first place, by the murder of bishop and priest, to si- 
lence the voice of the teacher. It was one of the last \v.oes 
threatened against Jerusalem that the people should seek in 
vain for a vision of the prophet, and that the law should 
perish from the priests ;
f and when in the Christian Church 
there shall be heard no more the message of truth, \vhen 
there shall be no more reproof, no more instruction in justice, 
the iniquity shall come in like a flood; then shaH be the 
abomination of desolation, and the time of An tichrist. 
Great, then, my brethren, is the dignity of preaching. It 
is God speaking on Mount Sinai. It is Jesus preaching on 
the }fount. It is the Divine Sower scattering the seeds of 
truth and virtue. The 1-101y Ghost has not left the ",.orld. 
In every Christian church, at every J\Iass, the day of Pente- 
cost is renewed. See, the priest has clothed hÏ1nself to cele- 
brated the unbloody sacrifice. He has ascended the altar. 
Already the clouds of incense hang over the mercy-seat, and 
hymns of praise ascend ;-but he stops, he turns to the peo- 
ple. Why does he interrupt the J\Iass? Has he seen a 
vision? Has an angel spoken to him, as of old to the prophet 
Zacharias ? Yes, he has seen a vision. He has heard a 
voice. A :fire is in his heart. A living coal hath touched 
his lips, the Breath of the Spirit hath passed over hiln, and 
he speaks as he is moved by the IIoly Ghost. Listen to hhn, 
lor he is a prophet. 1-Ie speaks to thee from God. "\Vhat is 
thy misery 
 What is thy sorrow 
 What is thy trial 
 


* Ezech. vii. 26. 



TilE OnG.-\N OF THE HOLY GHOST. 379 


.Now thou shalt find relief. .L\.ro you in doubt ahout religious 
truth 
 Listen, and you shall find the answer to those doubts. 
....\.re you sorely tempted to sin 
 N ow God will give you an 
oracle to strengthen you. Are you distressed and suffering 
 
Have you a secret sorro,v 1 K ow you shall receive au ans\ver 
of comfort. Do you wish to know how to advance in God's 
love 
 N ow the way shall be made plain before your face. 
D blessed truth! God has not left IIÏ1nself v,'ithout a wit. 
ness. The world is not to have it all its own way. The 
teachings of Satan are not to go on all the week uncontra- 
dicted. The dream of the heathen, that there are sacred 
spots on earth whence Divine Oracles issue, is fulfilled. The 
Chair of Truth is set up for the enlightenmcnt of the nations. 
" Tlw peo'p1 e that walked in darkness Ilave seen a g]'eat 
light,. to tlw7n that dwelt ,in the region of tILe slLadow of 
deatA ligltt is sprung 'lip." "The ea7.tlb is filled 'with the 
knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cove)" tlw sea."-?
 This 
subj ect suggests some very präctical reflections. I am not 
unmindful that some of theln concern the preacher himself. 
I do not forget that the thought of the high dignity of his 
office calls for the greatest purity of purpose and diligence of 
preparation; but while I remember this, suffer me also to 
remind you of your duty in listening to the prcacller. St. 
Paul praises the Thessalonians because they listened to his 
words, not as the words of man, but as the words if God. 
In the sense in which the teaching of an uninspired man can be 
so designated, have you thus listened to the preacher's words? 
Has it been a task to you to listen to the sermon 
 IIave 
you sought only to be amused? Have you been critical and 
captious 
 Or, acknowledging the truth you have heard, 
have you been careless about putting it in practice 
 Oh, 
how much the preaching of God's word might profit us, if 
we brought the right dispositions to the hearing of it! If 


* Isaias ÏX. 2, 19. 



380 


THE T'\VO WILLS IN MAN. 


we came to Church, eager to know U1.orc of God, ,vith a sin- 
gle heart desirous to nourish our souls ,vith IIis Truth, ,vhat 
progress we should make! A single sermon has before now 
converted men. St. Anthony, hearing but a single text, 
embraced a saintly life. If we had such dispositions, if each 
Sunday found us diligent hearers of God's Word, anxious to 
get some new thoughts about I-lim, some new motive to love 
Irim, some new practical lesson, some new help against sin, 
it would not be long before the effect would be visible in us 
all. We should make progress in the knowledge of our re- 
ligion. The devil and the ,vorld would assail us in vain. 
Scandals and sins ,V"ould become rare. I-Ieavenly virtues 
would spring up. Piety would become strong and manly. 
And that which the prophet describes would be fulfilled: 
"T/
e L011d will fill illY soul with brightness. And tll-OU 
shalt be like a well-wat6red garden, and like a f{)ltntain of 
water, wltose waters sl
all not fail."* 


cr 


SERJ\ION XVII. 


THE TWO WILLS IN MAN 


(FOURTU SUNDAY AFTElt EASTER.) 


"The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."-ST. MATT. XXVI. 4]. 


THE word" flesh" here does not mean the body, but the 
Jower or sensitive part of the soul in which the fleshly appe- 
tites reside. Our Lord is warning St. Peter of the necessity 
of prayer in order to meet the temptation which was cOIning 
upon him, and lIe tells hhn not to trust to the Yvillingness of 
his spirit, that is, his good intentions and resolutions, because 
he had an inferior nature which might easily be excited to 


. Isaias lviii. 2. 



THE TWO WILLS IN MAN. 


381 


evil, and 'which in the bour of te111ptatioll lllight, without a 
special grace of God, drag his will into sin. What our Lord 
is declaring, then, is the fact attested by uni,crsal e:xperience, 
that there are in the heart of Inan two conflicting principles- 
inordinate passion on one side, and reason and grace on the 
other. This truth, though so well kno,vn, touches our 11ap- 
})iness and salvation too closely not to possess at all tiInes an 
interest and importance for each onc of us; and I propose, 
therefore, to make it the suhject of my remarks this morning. 
In the first place, then, ,vb at is the sourcc and nature of 
the conflict thus indicated by our Lord 
 ''thence docs it 
arise 
 IIow does it come to pass tbat there are those two 
principles ,,-ithin us 1 IIo,v doës it 1Hlppen that eyery cbild 
of man finds himself drawn, more or less, two contrary ways, 
toward virtue and toward vice, toward God and toward the 
devil, toward H
aven and to-ward lIell? The ans,,-er com- 
monly given is, that this conflict ,ve feel within us COD1CS from 
the fall, that it is the fruit of original sin. TIut tbe fall, ac- 
cording to the Catholic doctrine, introduced no new principle 
into our nature, infused no poison into it, and deprived it of 
none of its essential elements. We must look farther back, 
then, than the fall for the radical source of this conflict; and 
we find it in the very essential constitution of our nature. 
Man, in his very nature, is twofold. TIe is created and finite, 
yet he has a divine and eternal destiny. He has a body and 
a soul, and the
efore he must have all the passions '\vhich are 
necessary to his animal and sensible life, as ,yell as the intel- 
lectual and moral powers which are necessary to. his spiritual 
. life. Here, then, we have, in the very idea of man's nature, 
the possibility of a conflict. We have two different princi- 
ples, which it is conceivable might come into collision. 
Ian'B 
appetites and passions, no less than his reason, are given to 
him by God, are good, are nécessarJ, but since his appetites 
and passions are blind principles, it is conceivable that they 
might demand gratifications which would not be in accord- 



882 


THE TWO WILLS IN MAN. 


ance with his reason and spiritual nature. As hUlnan nature 
was at first constituted by the Allnighty, any actual collision 
between these parts was prevented by a gift, which is called 
" the gift of integrity," a gift which was no essential part of 
our nature, but ,vas conferred on it by mere grace, and which 
bound together the various powers of the soul in a ,vondrous 
harmony, so that the movements of passion ,vere always in 
sublnission to reason. When Adam sinned, this grace ,vas 
withdrawn frolll him; and since it was no necessary part of 
our nature, since it was given of lnere grace, it ",.as withdra,vn 
from the whole human race. Hence lllen now find in them- 
sel yes an actual conflict between the higher and lower parts of 
the soul. In a complicated piece of machinery, if a bolt or belt 
is broken that bound it together, the parts clash. Each part 
may in itself remain unchanged, but it no longer acts harmo- 
niously with the other parts. So in fallen man, the bolt that 
braced the soul together is broken, and the powers of the soul 
clash together. The passions, the will, the reason, all, in 
themselves, remain as they were, undepraved; but they are 
no longer in harmony together, and lnan finds himself weak- 
ened by an intestine conflict. This, together with the loss 
of supernatural grace and a supernatural destiny, is the evil 
which, according to Catholic theology, accrued to man by the 
fall. 
This conflict, then, which we find ,vithin us; this claID.or 
of the lower nature against the lligher; this propensity of the 
passions to rebel against reason-in other words, this prone- 
ness to sin, which is the universal experience of humanity, 
does not prove that we have lost any constituent part of our 
nature, that there is any thing positively vicious in us, nor 
does it prove that we are hateful to God. It proves, indeed, 
that we are not divine, that we are not angels, that ",ve are 
not in the condition of human nature before Adam's trans- 
gression; it proves that a source of weakness, inberent in our 
nature, has been developed by the fall, that we need grace; 



THE TWO 'VILLS IN 
IAN. 


383 


. 
but it gives not the slightest reason for supposing that our 
manhood has been "-Tecked, that the w"Ìll is not free, that the 
reason of luan has been extinguished, or that the passions are 
not in themselves good, and haxe not thcir IcgitiInate sphere 
and exercise. So true is this, that this propensity to sin re- 
Inaills even in the baptized. 13aptisn1 does a. great deal for 
a luan. It takes a,vay original Sill, by supplying that justi- 
fying grace which our race forfeited in Adaln. It restores 
to man his supernatural destiny. In the language of the 
Council of Trent, it renders the, new'Iy-baptized "innocent, 
immaculate, pure, harmless, and beloved of God, an heir of 
God, and n joint heir ,vith Christ, so that there is nothing 
whatever to retard his entrance into heayeu." But there is 
one thing it does not do. I t does not remove the propensit.v 
of the passions to rebel. And the Council uses this fact- 
that concupiscence reluains in the baptized-to prove that 
concupiscence, or the propensity to evil, cannot itself be sin; 
and enforces its conclusion by the seal of its infallibility and 
the "'''arrant of it;; censures, saying: "If anyone is of the 
contrary sentinlent" (that is, decl3res that the incentive to 
sin, which remains in the baptized, hath in it the true and 
proper nature of sin), "let him be anathema."-Y.- 
Thus, Christianity explains the origin of this conflict in the 
human heart, in a lnanner agreeable to reason and hUlnan 
experience. But it does 1110re. It reveals to us the purpose 
of this conflict. Why does our Lord leave us subject to this 
strife? The same holy Council I have quoted already, an- 
swers distinctly; this incentive to sin is left in the' soul" to 
be wrestled with." The state of the case is this: The passions 
desire to be gratified without waiting for the sanction of 
reason, sometimes even in defiance of reason. }'forally speak- 
ing, this is no evil. The passions are but blind instincts; it 
is the province of the will to restrain them in their proper 


· Sess. V. Decree on Original Sin. 



384: 


THE TWO WILLS I
 MAN. 


limits, and to help her in this work she has reason and the · 
grace of God. If she fails to do her work, then she sins. 
Whenever sin is committed, it is the will that comluits it. 
It is only the will that can sin. The sin lies not in the inor- 
dinate desire, but in the will's not resisting that desire. The 
will is the viceroy of God in the heart, appointed to keep that 
kingdoln in peace. And herein lies the root of Christian 
morality, the secret of sanctification, and the essence of human 
prohation. We speak of outward actions of sin; but all sin 
goes back to the will. There was the treason. "Out 0/ the 
heart," says our Blessed Lord, "proceed 'lnurders, adulteries, 
fornications, tlwJts, false testimonies, blasphemics."* Each 
black deed is done in the secret chamber of the heart "before 
the hand proceeds to execute it. Each false, impure, and 
blasphemous word is whispered first by the will before the 
lips utter it. Yes, nlan's heart is the battle-field. There is 
the scene of action. We speak sometimes of a man's being 
alone or being idle: why, a man is never alone; never idle. 
He may, indeed, be silent, his hands may be still, no one 
may be near him; but in that kingdorn "rithin great events 
are going on all the time. Angels and saints are there. The 
armies of Heaven and the arn1ies of Helllueet there. Attack 
and repulse, parley and defiance, truce and surrender, strata- 
gem and treason, victory and defeat-are things of dailyoc- 
currence there. 
Of course, this is all very well kno\vn, very simple, very 
elementary, but yet there are sorne who never seem to under- 
stand it. They do not understand it who confound telnpta- 
tion with sin. This is a mistake often made, and by those 
too who ought to knO\V better. If a nlan feels a strong incH. 
nation to evil, if an evil thought passes through his mind, or 
a doubt against the faith assails him, i]umediately he imagines 
that he has fallen under God's displeasure. To state such an 


4& St. 'Matt. "Xv. 19. 



THE TWO WILLS IN :MA
. 


385 


error is to rcfute it. K ever, IllY brethren, fall in to this mis- 
take. K 0: bet\veen telnptation anJ sin thero lies an tbat 
gulf that separates IIeayen from IIcll. Let the deyil fill your 
Inind ,,'ith the most horrid thoughts, let all Jour lo\ver nature 
be in rebellion, let you have temptations to unbelief, to des- 
pair, to blasphelny; yet if that queenly ,vill of yours keeps 
her place, if she stand steadfast and iInmovable, not only 
have you not sinned, but you are purer, Inore spiritual, n10re 
full of faith and reverence than if you had bad no such trial. 
When St. Agnes was before tbe heathen judge, he ordered 
her to be sent to the stews and thrown among harlots, but 
she answered: "I shall come' out of that place virgin as I 
entered it." Yes, all the pow'ers of earth and hell canno
 
Inake a resolute soul cOlnmit a single sin. It is said that the 
walls of that house of prostitution, to which the holy maiden 
was condemned, still stand, and form the ,valls of 3. church 
dedicated in her bonor-a visible proof how the soul, faithful 
to itself and God, turns the very rneans and instrtnnents of 
its temptations into trophies of its most magnificent victories. 
Nor do those understand the nature of the Christian con- 
flict ,vbo lllake strong passions the pretext for the neglect of 
religious duties. There are such. Their hearts are too tu- 
multuous, their passions too strong, their virtue too weak, 
their circumstances too.difficult; and they must \vait till they 
become more composed, calmer, more devout, until religion 
becomes more natural to them. Error, dangerous as com- 
mon! I tell you;Christianity takes hold of every man just 
as he is, and just where he is, and claill1s him. No doubt, a 
quiet temper, a tranquil disposition, a devout spirit, are 
valuable gifts, but the root of religion does not lie in them, 
but in the will. That is it. God never in tended religion to 
be confined to the passive and gentle, and to be neglected by 
the strong and impulsive. You, young man of pleasure; 
you, man of business and enterprise; you, proud and worldly. 
man; you, passionate woman, with your wild and wayward 



886 


THE TWO WILLS I
 MAN. 


nature, God, this day, here and no,v ehallenges yon: "'Vhy 
are you not ,yorking ,vith 1\1e, and for J\Ie? Why are you 
not re1igious
" " 1\1e 1" you say, "it is ilnpossible. I aill 
sensual and a\Tarieions, I aIn selfish and revengeful, I am 
full of hatred and jealousy, laIn ,vorldly to the heart's core." 
No matter: yon know \vhat is right; are yon willing to do 
it 
 "Oh 1 I cannot. I do not love God. 1\1 v heart is cold." 
oJ 
No Inatter: are you willing to serve God ,vith a cold heart 
 
That is the question. "I cannot, I cannot. I have no faith. 
I cannot pray. I have not a particle of spirituality. Reli- 
gion is "rearisolne to me, and strange. It is as lnuch as I can 
do to stay through a High Mass." No Inatter, 1 say once 
more. Do you want to have faith? Are you "Tilling to 
practise ,vhat yon do believe 1 Then if you are, begin your 
work here and now. Yon cannot be of so rough a nature 
that Christ will reject you. No Illatter who yon are and 
what you are, no matter \vhat your trials have been, and 
what your past life, if you are a man, with a human heart, 
with human reason and a human will, Christ calls you by 
your name, and points out a ,yay that will lead JOu to peace 
and heaven. 
But least of all do they understand the nature of the 
Christian life., ,vho Inake telnptation an apology for sin; who 
excuse themselves for a '-rrong action by silnply saying, "I 
was telnpted." Far þe it froin me, my brethren, to under- 
value the danger of telnptation, or to forget the frailty of the 
human heart, or to lack compassion for the fallen; but it is 
one thing to fan and bewail one's fan, and another to make 
the temptation all but a justification of the tàll. And are 
there not some who do this 
 who do not seek temptation, 
but invariably yield to it when it comes across theln 
 who 
only steal \vhen son1e trifle falls in their ,vay; ,vho only 
curse ,vhen they are angry; ,vho only neglect llIass when 
they feel lazy and self-indulgent; and are always sober and 
chaste except when the occasion invites to libertinism and 



\ 
THE T\VO WILLS IN MAN
 


.. 887 


intelnperance? What! is this Christianity? To abò
ain 
from sin as long as ,\Te haye no particular inclination 
to commit it, and to faU into it as soon as w'e have! 
o miserable lnan, 0 miserable ""0 In an , go and learn the 
very first principles of the doctrine of Christ. Go to the 
Font of Baptis111, and ask why you renounced Sa.tan, and 
promised to keep God's COlTIlnandments. Go to the Bible 
and learn why Ohrist died, and ,vhat is the duty of Ilis fol- 
lo,vers. TClnptations come upon you in order that yon Inay 
resist them. Yon are subject to gusts of anger, in order 
that you may become meek. You are tempted to unchastity, 
in order that you Inay become pure. You arc tempted 
against faith, that you may learn to believe. That you are 
tempted, is precisely the reason that you should not yield; 
for it shows tbat your hour is COlne, and the question is 
whetber you ,vill belong to Ohrist or Satan. , 
Yes, my brethren, our conflict is for the trial of our virtue. 
It is a universal la,v of humanity. It was so even in tbe 
garden of Eden. In the fields of Paradise, ,vhere the trees 
were in their fresh verdure, and the air breathed a perpetual 
spring, and all things spoke of innocence and peace, there 
Adaln had to meet this trial. And each child of lnan since 
then has met it in his turn. And Christians must meet it 
too. In the sheltered sanctuary of' the Churcb, ,vhere we 
have so many privileges, so 1l1uch to strengthen and gladden 
us, even there each one must abide the test. As the Ca- 
naanite was left in the promised land, to keep the children 
of Israel in vigilance and activity, so the sting of the flesh, 
the po,ver of our inferior nature, is left in tbe baptized, to 
school us in virtue, to make us men, to make us Christians, 
to make us saints. This is the foundation principle of re- 
ligion. He who has learnt this, has found out the riddle of life. 
And DO'V, my brethren, that I have explained to you the 
source of the conflict that we feel 'within us, and the purpose 
it is designed to answer, you will see what the result of it 



388 


THE TWO WILLS IN :MAN. 


must be, how it issues in the t\VO eternities that are before 11S. 
"He tllat soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap co'rrup- 
tion j but /w tl
at soweth in the Spirit, of tlw Spirit slLall'peap 
life everla8ting."
4 The Judgment Day is but the revelation 
of the faithfulness or unfaithfulness of each one of us in the 
struggle to which he has been called. Every act, every 
choice we make, tells for that great account. The day ,vill 
declare it. Then the secret of each ulan's heart shall be re- 
vealed, and how that battle in his heart has been fought. 
Oh, what a spectacle must this world present to the angels 
who look do\vn upon the solemn strife that is going on here 
below! There is a man ,vho has ceased to strive. No 
longer Inaking any resistance, he is led on ,vholly and com- 
pletely by his inferior nature. The slave of sin, he hardly 
feels the conflict in his soul, but it is because the voice of 
reason and the voice of grace have been so long resisted that 
they have become almost silent. And there are others ,vho 
have given up the pure strife, but not so deterlninedly, not 
so cOlnpletely. Occasionally they have better mon1ents, 
regrets for the good they have forsaken, but still they float 
on with the careless world. And there is the young girl 
taking her first step on the do,vnward road, looking back to 
the father's house she is leaving, reluctant, but consenting. 
.. Then there is the penitent, ,vIlo has fallen but risen again; 
who has learned warine:3s from his fall, and new confidence 
in God from His nlerCj" and goodness, and who is striving 
by penance and prayer to make up what he has lost. And 
there is the man ,vith feeble will, ever sinning and ever 
lamenting his sin, divided between good and evil, with too 
much conseience to give free reins to his passions, and too 
little to Inaster them completely. And there is the soul 
severely tried, still struggling but alnlost overwhelmed, and 
out of the depths calling upon God the Holy and True, ''In- 


. GaL vi. 8. 



THE TWO WILLS IN MAN. 


389 


cline unto mine aid, 0 God." .And there is the soul strong 
in virtue, strong in a thousand victories, \vhich stands un- 
Inoved anlÎù tmuptations, like the deep-rooted tree in a storln, 
or like tbe rock beaten by the waves. Ob, yes, in tbe sight 
of the angels, this "rorlù is full of interest. There is nothing 
bere trivial and common-place. What prophecies of the 
future Inust they not read! ",""That saints do they see, ripen- 
ing for lleaven! What sinners l"ushing Inadly to lieU! 
What unlooked-for falls! What unexpected conversions! 
"\Vhat hidden sins, unsuspected by the 'world! N O\V they 
must rejoice, and no\v they nll1st weep. No\v they trelnblc 
over some soul in danger, and now they exult because the 
danger is over. So it is now; but \vhen the end shall COIne, 
then fear and hope shall be no more, the conflict \vill be 
ended, the books shall be opened, and the secrets of the heart 
published to the universe. The struggle of life ,viII be past, 
only its results \vill reluaill-t,vo separate bands, one on 
either side of the Judge, the good and the wicked, those who 
ba ve been true to their conscience, to reason, to grace, and 
those who have DOt. 
Well, then, ""e \yill strive manfully against sin. There are 
untold capacities hi us for good and evil. God said to Re- 
becca: "Tu'o nations are in thy worab, an;Z two peolJles shal? 
òe divided out oj tlLY womb, and one people shall ove'pC07ne tlw 
other." * So, my brethren, in each heart there are t\VO pow- 
ers struggling for the luastery-the Spirit and the Flesh. 


ere are t\,O sets of offspring struggling for the birth- 
" tbe works of the flesh, \vhich are inlmodesty, uncleanliness, 
fornication, enmities, wl'ath, envies, emulations, quarrels, 
murders, drunkenness, revellings; and the ,vorks of the 
spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, faith, 
modesty, continence, cbastity." It is for t
e ,viII, \vith and 
Imder God
s grace, to say ,vhich of these shall overCOlne the 


. Gen. xxv. 23. 



390 


TIlE T'\VO WILLS IN MAN 


other. Do JOU say that I put too nluch on the will 
 that 
the will is too ,veak to decide this fearful contest 
 0 
brethren
 the will is not weak. On the side of God, and 
with the he1p of God, it is irresistible. Look at the martyrs' 
will. Did it not carry them through fire and sw'ord 
 Did 
it not enable th.em to meet death with joy? This is onr 
mistake, ,ve do not know our strength. We know our weak 
ness, but we do not know our strength. We think God is to 
help us, independently of ourselves, and not through our- 
selves. But this is not so, God helps us by strengthening 
our will, by enlightening our reason, by directing our con- 
science. We cannot distinguish between what God does and 
what we do in any act. The two act together. Therefore, I 
say, you have it in your po,ver to resist sin, you have it in 
your power to become saints. No matter though your evil 
dispositions have been increased by past sins, you can over- 
come evil habits, and be what God ,vilIs you to be. Only do 
not be contented ,vith a superficial religion, a religion of feel- 
ings, and frames, and sensible consolations. Go down deep, 
go down to the will. Let the sword of the LORD probe till 
it pierces even "to the division of the soul and tbe spirit," 
the point at ,vbich our higher and lo,ver natures meet each 
other. 1tlake your religion not a shaIn, but a reality. School 
yourself for heaven. Day by day fight the good fight of 
faith, and thus merit at last to die like a holy luan at whose 
death St. Vincent of Paul assisted: "He is gone to heaven," 
said the saint, speaking of 
I. Sillery, "like a monarch 
going to take possession of his kingdom, with a strength, a 
confidence, a peace, a meekness, which cannot be expressed." 



THE INTERCE;3SIO
 OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 391 


SER1\IO
 XVIII. 


THE INTERCESSION OF TilE BLESSED VIRGI
 l'HE nIGHEST 
POWER OI!' PRAYER. 


(SUNDAY WITIIIN TIlE OCTAVE OJ!' TilE ASCE
SIOX.) 


" If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ye sball ask whatever 
you will, and it shall be done to yoU."-JOIIY xV". '1. 


THERE is perhaps no Catholic doctrine ,vhich meets w'ith 
more objection among those outside the Church, than our 
devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Expressions of love to her, 
of hope in her intercession, '\vhich seem to us perfectly natu- 
ral, '\vhich come from our hearts spontaneously, ""hen they 
are most under the influence of Christian and holy principles, 
seem to them altogether at variance 'with Christianity. I do 
not believe that this comes ahvays from prej ndice, and a 
spirit of opposition on their part. It COlnes often, I an1 per- 
suaded, from not understanding us. There is a link in our 
minds \vhich connects this practice with other Christian doc- 
trines, and this link is wanting in theirs; and therefore acts 
of devotion of this kind seem to the In arbitrary and useless, 
an excrescence on Christianity, and even alien to its spirit. 
If this is the case, it cannot but be a duty and charity for us 
to explain, as far as possible, ",'bat is in the n1Índ of a Catho- 
lic when he prays to the Blessed Virgin; and I shall accord- 
ingly attempt to do so this morning. Perhaps while we arc 
thus removing a stumbling-block out of some erring brother's 
way, we shall be at the same time rendering our o,vn ideas 
on this doctrine clearer, and its practice Inore intelligent. 
The Blessed Virgin Mary, then, to a Catholic, represents 
the power of intercessory prayer in its highest form and 
degree. 
I believe there are very fe,v persons, indeed, '\vbo realize 
at all the power wbich is attributed to intercessory prayer in 



392 THE INTERCESSION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN 


the Bible and in Christianity. The Apostles frequentiy ex- 
hort tbe Christians to whom they are writing to pray for 
them. They enjoined it upon them as a duty to pray for 
one another. What does this mean 
 Had not St. Paul and 
St. Peter influence enough with lIeaven to carry their ,vants 
directly to tbe throne of grace 
 Was not the ,vay of access 
to God open and easy for every one 
 Did God require to be 
reminded of the woes and wants of any child of man, by the 
syu1pathizing cries of his fellow-creatures 
 Was not God's 
own heart as large as tbeirs 
 Could any thing lIe had made 
escape IIis knowledge, or any sorro,v fail to a,vaken His 
compassion 
 Or, if it did, was the intercession of Christ in- 
sufficient that any otber had to be called in to supplicate 
 
No, certainly . None of these suppositions are true. God's 
goodness and kno'wledge are infinite. He needs not to be 
told what is in man. lIe loves the work of His hands. The 
meanest and tbe poorest are in tbe light of His Providence. 
Christ's merits are infinite and universal. TInt after all, there 
stands the fact. Intercessory prayer is an ordinance of God. 
It is a duty to pray for others, and it is useful to haye others 
pray for us. Yon may call it a mystery if JOu like. To 
lue, it does not seem so very wonderful. No man Ii ves to 
hin1self. We are not the only Christians. }'Iany others 
"Walk alongside of us on the road to 1Iea\'"en. }'Iany are 
ahead of us. }'Iany have already reached their term. Shall 
there be no sympathy between us 
 Is that principle so 
deeply seated in our nature to have no. play in Christ.ianity ? 
Are we to have no interest, no feeling for each other? Or, 
is that sympathy to be a barren sentiment, and to have 110 
results 
 God, in religion, makes use of and comlnanqs this 
kindness and sympathy. He makes use of it to bind all men 
together in a bond of love. In order to this, lIe makes it a 
law that we shall pray for one another, and suspenùs His gifts 
upon its execution. It is, then, to meet that nature that He 
Las framed-it is to exalt that nature craving forsympathy-.- 



THE nIGHEST rOWER OF PRA YETI. 


393 


it is to give rein to charitj-it is to make ns al\vays sensible 
and mindful of that great hUlllan ftunily to ,vhich ,ve belong- 
it is for the
c reasons, I conceivc, that God has instituted the 
ordinance of intercessory prnTcr. TIut, explain it as you 
,viII, the fact cannot be denied. It is an appointnlent of 
God, and an appoinhnent of great efficaey. It plays a large 
part in the history of the BiLle. Elias ".3S a lnan subject to 
like passions ,,,ith us, and he prayed earnestly that it Inight 
not rain, and it rained not for three years and six months; 
and he prayed again, and the heavens gavc rain. Abrahaul 
prayed for A bilnelcch, and God bealed hiln. 'Vhen 1.105es 
prayed for the Israelites suffering under the fire ,vith which 
God had ,isited theln for their sins, the fire ,vas quenched. 
I n the propbet Ezechiel, God speaks as if he could not act 
without this intercession-as if it 'were really a necessary con- 
dition for the bestow'al of IIis graces. "I 801lgltt among 
them fOl' a rnan," he says, "t/
at ?night stand in tIle gCLJ) be- 
fore me, in favor of the land, tlLat I 'lnigllt not destroy it, and 
I found none."* St. James e'.en seenlS to make salvation 
depend on intercessory prayer. "Pray fO}' one anotltel'," is his 
language, "that ye may be saverl.t These are but a salnple of 
the In any Scriptural proofs that might be brought to sho\v that 
intercessory prayer is an ordinance of God. It js one of the 
forms in ,,,hich the goodneEs of God and the Inerits of Christ 
fio",. over upon us. By it "e obtain graces from God much 
more easily than 'we could ,\
ithout it. And ,yc obtain by it 
special graces, "hich we would not be likely to obtain at a11 
without it. In this senEe, perhaps, St. J a111eS meant to iInply 
that it was necessary to our salvatioll. Not that it "was a 
matter of precept to ask the prayers of this or that particular 
person, but that their intercession Blight be tbe condition of 
our obtaining graces ,yithout which our salvation ,,"ould be 
a work of great difficulty. . 
But this is not all that the Scriptures tell us aùout inter- 
* Ezechiel xxü. 30. t St. James v. 16. 
1'1* 



394 THE lliTERCESSION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN 


cessory prayer. They not only declare its wonderful po\ver, 
but they rnake known to us that the efficacy of intercessory 
prayer depends on the goodness and Inerit before God of the 
one \vho offers it. I do not mean that no one should pray 
for another unless he is very holy. By no ill.eans. No lnat. 
tel' how great a sinner a man n1ay be, it is a good thing for 
him to pray for others, and the mercy and compassion of 
God, I am sure, never turn a\vay from such a petition. But 
then, in such a case, it is Inercy and compassion which moves 
God to hear the prayer. In the case of a good man praying 
for another, there is a sort of claim that he should be heard. 
Not an absolute claÏ1n, by ,vhich he can demand any thing 
for another, as of right, but a claim of fitness, a claim as if 
between friend and friend, a claim on God's bounty and gen- 
erosity, which will not allo\v Hiln to turn a deaf ear to one 
\vho is faithfully striving to serve Him. The passages of in- 
spiration 'which express this are very clear and very strong. 
" The continual prayer of a just man availetlt m1lclz,."* There 
it is the pra}Ter of a righteous man that has this efficacy. And 
to this agree the ,vords of our Lord: "If ye remain in me, and 
my words rem,a.in in you, ye shall as!-:; whatever ye will, and 
it shall be done unto you."t Could words express more 
clearly that the po\ver of intercessory prayer is in direct 
proportion to the closeness of the union \vhich \ve Inaintain 
\vith God 
 And St. John reiterates the same principle 
,vhen he says: "lVhatsoever we shall ask we shall receive of 
Him., because we keep his commandments, and do those thin gs 
tltat are pleasing in His s?.gltt."+ God's dealings, as recorded 
in the Bible, are in exact accordance \vith this rule. At the 
prayer of Abraham, God desisted fro In His purpose of de- 
stroying Sodorn, because Abraham was Goç1's friend. 'Vhen 
tbe three friends of Job had diepleased God by their \vrong 
judgments and unj ust suspicions, God commanded thetn to 
go to His servant Job, and he would pray for th('10, and him 
. St. James v. 15. t John xv. 7. 
 I. St. John iÜ. 22. 



THE HIGHEST POWER OF PIL\.YER. 


393 


lIe w'ould accept. And in the prophet Ezechiel, ,vheri the 
Ahnighty w'onld express, in the strongest possible Jnanner, 
the fact that Iris anger was enkindled against a people and 
a city; that nothing, ho,ve\"cr strong, should stay its effect

 
He says: ".And if tl
e8e tlLree men, Noe, Daniel and Job, 
sllall be in it, tl
ey 81
all dt-liver tlwil" own souls only by 
tlwi'l" just ice." * As if to sar: "N ot,vithstanding the inter- 
cession and Iuerit of these great saints, e\"en though they 
,,,,ere all combined in favor of that one city, they should 
111,t avail to make Me spare such ,,
ickedness. What Inust 
be the ,vickedness that can force Me 
o ,vithstand the po,ver 
of such an appeal 
" 
IIere, then, we have t,vo things clearly taught in IIoIy 
Scripture. One is that intercessory prayer is an ordinance of 
God of great power and utility. The other is, that the degree 
of po"er tbis prayer bas in any particular case depends on 
the merit of hinl who offers it. 'Vho, then, shall be the 
favored child of man, the favored saint, ,vho shall exercise 
this power in the fullest degree 
 Of ,vholn it can be said 
literally, "Whatever thou askest of 1\le I will do it," because 
the condition of union with God is perfectly fulfilled 
 'VII() 
shall this be ,vhom Iloly Scripture thus clothes with this tre
 
mendous po"er, if it be not the Blessed Virgin Mary 
 
Iy 
brethren, our belief in the surpassing sanctity of the Blessed 
Virgin is no fancy of later times. It goes back to the very 
beginning of Christianity. St. Ambrose ,vrote her praises as 
he had learned them from tbose ,vho had recei ved them fronl 
apostolic Inen. Grave, austere Inen, as far as possible 
removed from any thing like fancy re1igion or sentimentality, 
men who had suffered for the nalne of Christ, and even faced 
death in its defence, employed their art and care to coi 11 
words ,vhich might express the virtue and purity and ex- 
ceeding sanctity of the Virgin Mary, as they had learned it 
from their forefathers. And in the most ancient writings of 
the Church, iñ the Canon of the Mass, when the priest recalls 
* Ezechiel xiv. 14. 



3D6 THE INTERCESSIO
 OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN 


by nalne the glorious army of Christian heroes ,vho had gone 
before, always in the .first place she is mentioned, the all- 
glorious, undefiled, immaculate Mary, 1\lother of God, and 
ever Virgin. This being so, is not her power of intercession 
fixed beyond dispute 
 Does not Scripture itself fashion out 
for her the glorious throne on which the Catholic Church 
places her 
 Did any remain in Christ as sbe did 
 Did 
His ,vords ever so abide in any heart as in hers 
 Suppose a 
Christian 'v ho Ii ved in the times of the Apostles, before the 
Blessed Virgin had gone to her rest, when she was just 
dying; suppose snch a one sorely tried and ternpt
d within 
and ,vithout; suppose him anxious about his salvation, dis- 
trustful of his own petitions, fearful of the coming storms of 
per
ecution; and suppose bin1 in this state of mind to have 
read that passage of St. James, "The continual prayer of a 
just man availeth lunch," ,vhat more natural than that he 
should bave said to hirnself, "I will go to ask the prayers of 
the dear Mother of Cbdst. I ,viII ask her to use her power 
and influence ,vith her Divine Son in behalf of a frail wan- 
derer like me." And when he carne into her presence and .. 
knelt before ber, and kissed her hand and made his plea, and 
looked up to her and sa,v that sweet grave srnile, and l
eard 
her say, " Yes, my child, when I stand in the pl:esence of my 
Royal Son, and He holds out to me the golden sceptre, and 
says to m.e, what wilt thou 
 ,v hat is thy request? then I 
will relnember thee 1" Oh! ho,v light his heart! Oh, ho,v 
st.rong his soul! ,vhat a charm against sadness! ,vhat a for- 
tress in temptation! 1rlary prays for me in heaven to Christ 
her Son! And is there any thing in this joy and confidence 
,vhich reason or Christianity would condelnn? If so, it must 
be either that intercessory prayer is not the power the Scrip- 
tures say it is, or that Mary is not tbe saint the Church con- 
siders her. Why, even Protestants have gone as far as this. 
Protestants who have m.ade the prin1Îtive form of Christianity 
their study and profess to accept it as their rule, as, for 



THE HIGHEST POWER OF PR.\YER. 397 


(\xalnple, High-Church Episcopalians, have distinctly ae.. 
kno,,'1edged in the seventcenth century, and in onr o,vn day, 
that the saints in hea'\cn do intcrecde for us, and that this 
w'as the primitive doctrine of Christianity. 'Vhy, thcu) find 
fault 'with us for invoking the saints, and say w'c ought onl'y 
to ask God to hear their prayers for us, as if in yocation on 0111' 
part w'ere Dot the correlative of intercession on theirs; as if it 
could be right to ask a saint to pray for us the nloment be- 
fore he died, and wrong the roomen t after; as if there could 
be any moral difference before God bet,veen a direct and an 
indirect supplication for the benefit of their praycrs in 
heaven 
 
Such, my brethren, is our idea 'v hen ''\0 address the 
Blessed Virgin for aid. It is not that ,ve cannot go directly 
to God. It is not that God is not the nearest to us, and at all 
times accessible. It is not that, sinful as \\0 are, we may not go 
,'\ith our miseries into the ver'y presence of the Ahnighty. 
It is not that pra
yer to God is not the best of all prayers. It 
is not that we put the Blessed Virgin in the place of God. 0 
cruel charge! It is not that we derogate from the merits of 
Christ. 0 strange misconception! TInt it is this-,,?e 
believe in intercessory prayer. We believe that man may 
help his brother. We believe that Christianity is a human 
and a social relation; we believe that heaven is very near this 
earth-oh, how much nearer than ever ,ve belie,"cd! and 
that in Christ ,,"e are in communion with an innu111erable 
.. 
company of angels, and the Church of the First-born. We 
believe that there is joy in the presence of the angels of God 
over the good deeds done on earth, and that the litanies of 
the saints ascend over one sinner and his deeds. And ,ve 
belicve that this po'\ver of intercessory prayer cuhninates in 
the Blessed Virgin. We believe that sbe is the" one unde. 
filed," whose ,vay has been ahvays in the law of the Lord. 
We believe that before the foundations of the earth \rere laid, 
or ever the earth and the sea were made, she was forckno,vn 



398 THE INTERCESSIO:N OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 


by the Almighty, spotless in purity, nw.tchlcss in virtue. ",Ve 
believe that she "vas the flo,ycr of Inll11anity, the fairest type 
of Christianity-and ,ve believe, therefore, that God is as 
good as IIis ,vord, and whatever she asks of Hirn, He gives it 
to her. This is the doctrine on which ,ve found our devotion 
to the Blessed Virgin. Take our strongest language. It 
means no more than this: "Pray for me." Yon n1ay 
ampli(y as you w'in, but from the necessity of the case every 
thing we say comes to that. Put prayer for the Blessed Vir- 
gin, suppose prayer personified in her, and you have the key 
to the Catholic doctrine on this subject. Strong things are 
said of the po,ver of the Blessed Virgin, but so are strong 
things said in Holy Scripture and by holy men of the po\ver 
of prayer. Whatever can be said of prayer, can be said of 
her. Cease, then, to misunderstand us. Ackno,vledge that 
we are but obeying Christ in praying to the Blessed Virgin. 
And if you 'will still find fault, find fault, not ,vith us, but 
with God, ,,,"ho has instituted intercessory prayer and given 
such power to men. 
And for you, Iny brethren, let tbese thoughts strengthen 
JOu in your confidence in the po,verful intercession of the 

fother of God. Our work is too severe, o
r difficulties are 
too great, for us to neglect any help God has offered us. 
There are Inany adversaries. The 'World, with all its seduc- 
tions, passes in array before us. Why should we shut our 
eyes to the hosts of heaven that march unseen by onr side 
 
Why should we stay outside when we are invited to the n1ar- 
riage supper, and J csns and His disciples are there, and l,Iary, 
pleader for heavy hearts, saying, " They have no ,vine ;" and 
at her prayer Jesus gives them that wine that maketh glad 
the heart of man ,vith the abundance of His grace and love? 
I have been glad to see you these bright :ThIay n10rnings 
around the altar. Persevere more and lllore. Your labor of 
love is not in vain. God's words cannot fail. IIis gifts are 
without repentance. Mary's power of intercession is as fresh 



MYSTERIES IN RELIGIO
. 


B99 


this day as it ,vas ,vhcn her prayer Inade the Iniraculou& wino 
to gush forth at the ,vedding feast; and until sorne one sh'111 
arise Inore blessed, Inore holy, Hearer to Christ than she, it ,vill 
remain as it is no,v, the highest and the most efficacious of all 
forms of prayer in hea \
en or on earth. 


.. 


SERMON XIX. 


MYSTERIES I
 RELIGION 


(TRI
ITY BUSDAY.) 


" Oh, the depths of the riches of tho wisdom and knowledge of God! How 
incomprehensible are His judgmrnts, and how unsearchable aro Ilis ways 1"- 
Roy. XI. 33. 


TilE word revelation means the discovery of something 
that was not known before, or the making clear sOlnething 
that was obscure. Now, with this idea in our mind, it may 
excite surprise to :find how much the Christian Revelation 
abounds in mysteries. By mysteries, I understand truths 
which are imperfe
tly comprehended. A doctrine w.hich 
contradicts reason is not a mystery: it is nonsense. A doc- 
trine which is wholly unintelligible is not a mystery: it is 
simply unmeaning, and cannot be the object of any intellect- 
ual act on our part. But a doctrine which is in part com- 
prehended, and in part not, is a mystery. Now, in Christians 
ity we meet such mysteries on every side. The Sacraments 
are mysteries. Grace is a mystery. The Person of Christ is 
a mystery. .And above all, the great doctrine we com- 
memorate to-day is a mystery. To-day is the Feast of the 
1tlost 1101y Trinity. To-day we call to l11ind that wonderful 
Relationship which exists in God, eternal and necessary, by 
which, in the undivided Unity of I-lis Essence, there are three 
distinct modes of subsistence, the Father, the Son, and tbe 



400 


MYSTERIES IN RELIGION. 


Holy Ghost. It seems, then, not unfitting on this day to give 
JOu some reasons why you should acquiesce in that l11YS- 
teriousness of Chri
':tian doctrine, "rhich is certainly one of its 
n1arked characteristics, and which has been urged against it 
as a serious objection. 
A nd, first, I observe that mysteries are necessårpy attend- 
ants on religion. 'fhere can be no revelation without the1n. 
There can indeed be no knowledge without them. To a little 
child the earth is a plane of no great extent, and the stars are 
colored lamps hung in the canopy of the night. But as he 
grows older, he learns that the earth is very big, and that the 
stars are very far off, and that there are n1any sýstems of 
worlds above us; and no"r how many questions press them- 
sel yes upon his m.ind ! "\Vhat is the history of this universe î 
How old is the earth which we inhabit 
 Are the stars inhab- 
ited? Science with the hard earnings of human thought and 
labor gives him some little satisfaction, but for every ques- 
tion that she sets at rest there are n1any new ones that she 
raises, and at last ill every department there comes a point 
where she gropes, and loses her way, and stops altogether. If 
you light a candle in a large room it casts a bright light 
on the table you are sitting at, and on the pages of the book 
you are reading, but gives only a dim light in the distance. 
You see that there are pictures on the walls, but you cannot 
discover their sulljects. You see there are books on the 
shelves, but you cannot read their titles. .. When the rOOlll 
,vas quite dark you did not know that they were there at 
all, and now you know them only imperfectly. So every 
light which knowlédge kindles brings out a new set of Inys- 
teries or half-kno,víedges. For this reason it is that a Ilian 
of true science is apt to be modest in his language. Your 
loud-talking philosopher, ,vho has no difficnlties, has but a 
very narrow scope of thought and vision. He is clear becaw;;e 
he is shallow. But a highly educated Ulan knows that therl3 
are a great many things he is ignorant of, and 80 his lan- 



).1YSTERIES IN RELIGIO
 


401 


guage is modified and qualified. 1 believe it was Sir Isaac 
Newton who used to say, that in his scientific investigations 
he 
eemed to himself like a child gathering pebbles on the 
sea-shore. It ,vas his vast attainll1ents that made him sen- 
sible that 'fruth is as boundless as the sea. And when 
scientific Dlen forget this; when they forget how luuch they 
are ignorant of; when they are boastful, over-positive, or 
inconsiderate in their statenlents, how applicable to them 
becomes the reprooÏ which the Allnighty addressed to Job: 
"TVhel'e 'wa8t t/
ou wlwn I laid the foundations of tlw 
earpth? tell.J1e if thou hast 'understanding. Upon what 
are its bases grounded? or wllo laid tlte corner-stone the1
erf? 
By what way is light spread, and IMat divided on the earth? . 
TVho is the fatlter of the rain, or who Ilath begotten tlte 
dl'OPS of dew? .Dost tltolt know the order qf Iwaven, and 
canst thou set down t/
e 'J
eason thereof on tlte eai'th ? Tèll 
Ne, if tlwu knowest these tlting s.-' 
ltnd this ]lolds good just as ,yell in regard to religious 
kno,,-ledge. Reason teaches us that there is a God, anù it 
tells something of His Nature; but it speaks to us about 
Him only in riddles. God is immutable, and yet lie is per- 
fectly free: who shaH reconcile these together 1 God is in- 
finite, infinite in Essence, infinite in all His Attributes-try 
to comprehend infinitude if you can. Again, ,vhat a IUYS- 
tery there is in the creation of this world! What a mystery 
in the union of spirit and matter! Ever.r",
here mystery is 
the necessary acconlpanilllent of knowledge; and the more 
w'e kno,v, the more mysteries ,vill \ve have. If, then, God 
reveals to us any thing about Himself additional to that 
,vhich reason can ascertain, mystery nlust still be the conse- 
quence. The wider the view, the more indistinct and shad- 
owy the outline. It is revealed to us that in God, without 
injury to His Simplicity, there is a Threefold Relationship- 
that the Father, contemplating Himself from aU eternity, 
has conceived a perfect Image of Himsel
 and that this Im- 



402 


MYSTERIES IN RELIGION. 


age is His Son, and that the Father and the Son baye loved 
each other fron1 all eternity, and that this Love is the Hol)' 
GhoBt-that thus the Father, the Son, and the IIol'y Ghost 
are Three distinct, eternal, necessary Subsistences. Do not 
be surprised at this. Here is nothing contradictory to reason. 
True, it is \vonderful. True, you cannot pierce it through 
and through. It is full of darkness. No Inatter. Yon 
know, when the moon comes out from behind a cloud, ho,v 
sharp and ,yen-defined the shadows become. So these dark- 
ncsses of doctrine COlne because the light is brighter. Men 
talk of the simple doctrines of the gospel. There are no 
such things. The gospel, as a scheme of doctrine at least, 
is a mystery. St. Paul called it so, and so it is. It is a Inys- 
te1'Y because it reveals so n1uch. If we did not know that 
God is both One in substance....and Three in the DIode of sub- 
sistence, our difficulties ,vould be less, but so "Tould our 
kno,vledge. Wen does the prophet exclaÍ1n: "Verily, 
Thou a1.t a lddden God, tlw God of Is}'Iael, t}w SaViOlt'ì 1 I" * 
What, the God qf Israel a hidden God! Did lie not Inalli- 
fest Himself to the patriarchs 
 Did he not speak face to 
face with Moses 
 Yes, but He is all the lllore hidden, the 
1110re He has m.anifested Himself. It cannot be other\vise. 
God yearns to Inake Himself known to n1an, but He cannot. 
The secret is too deep and high. Language is too weak. 
Thought too slow. Reason too narrow. The very means 
He takes to reveal Hilllself conceal Him. Clouds and dark- 
ness gather around Mount Sinai as He descends upon it. 
The Flesh iq \vhich He was " man ifested" to men serves as 
a veil to His Divinity. No, we cannot find out the Aln1ighty 
to perfection. The time will COlne in heaven when by tbe 
Light of Glory our intellects shall be 111arvellously strength- 
ened, and we shall see Him" as He is "-but now we see as 
through a glass darkly. Our utlnost happiness here is that 


* Isai. xlv. 15. 



MYSTERIES I
 RELIGIO
. 


403 


of Moses, to be hidden in the rock, ,vhile the Almighty 
passes by and 1ifts His lIand that ,ve nlay see a ray of Iris 
Glory. Do not complain if the ray dazzles thy feeble sight, 
but receÏ\
e each gliInpse of that Eternal Truth and Beauty 
thankfully, and give heed unto it, c. as unto a light shining 
in a dark place." 
Bnt, further, Inystcries are not only necessary attendants 
on revelation, they are really sonrces of advantage to us. 
In order to make this clear, I ll111st remind you that Faith is 
ODe of the conditions of our acceptance with Goò. There 
\vas a time \vhen lnen laid too much stress on faith and made 
light of works; then the Church Lad to define that ,yorks 
are necessary, and that there is no salvation ,vithout them. 
Now the contrary error is afloat. Men say: "Be D1oral," 
"Be religious in a general ,vay, and it is no Jnatter ,vhat 
a nlan believes." :IS" ow, this is an error as great and as 
dangerous as the other. "Aù}'al
aln believed God, and it was 
reputed to ldm unto justice." 
f The apostles belie,,"ed Christ. 
and were praised for it. On the other hand, those \vho 
disbelieved are reproved as being guilty of a mortal fault. 
" The heart of this people is grown gross: an(Z witl
 their 
ears they have been dull of llearing, and tneÙ' eyes tltey lLave 
shut: lest at any time they should see witl
 their eyes, and 
hear wit1
 tl
eÙ' ears, at1d understand witl
 their heapt, and 
should be converted, and I sltould heal then
."t In like man- 
Der, when our Lord took leave of unbelieving Jerusalem, 
He "wept over it. N ow, why is this 
 \Vhat is there, in the 
act of believing or disbelieving, that is of a moral nature, 
tbat deserves praise or blame"? Is not faith an act purely 
intellectual? I reply, faith is an act partly intellectual, 
partly moral. The intellect demands proof that a particular 
doctrine has been revealed by God, but, when that is once 
ascertained, faith accepts the doctrine, Dot because it is per- 


. Rom. iv. 3. 


t St. Matt. xiii 15. 



404 


MYSTERIES IN RELIGION. 


fectly clear in itself, but because God reveals it. Clearly, 
there enter into such an act many elelnents of morality-our 
reverence for God, our desire to do IIis Will, our humili ty 
and docility. You know it is an honor to a man for oue to 
believe in his word, and especially for one to Inake ventures 
on the faith of his word. Just so, to make ventures on God's 
word is a generous, devout, and Doble act. N o,v, it is the 
mysteriousness of Christian doctrine that givcß faith this gen- 
erous character-or rather, that makes faith possible. The 
obscurity of the revelation throws the ,,"eight on the author- 
ity of the Revealer. It is Inystery ,vhich gives life to faith. 
A man is not said to believe a thing he sees. "Blessed are 
they," said our Blessed Lord, "tllat llave not seen, and yet 
have believed.'':* There are certain flo,vers that require the 
shade to bloom. Constant sunshine burns then1 up. So 
Faith requires the shado\v of mystery. It thrives under 
difficulties. Abraham's faith was so adlnirable, because he 
considered not his o\vn decrepitude, nor. Sarah's barrenness, 
but believed he should have a son at the tÍ1ne appointed by 
the Almighty. The faith of the apostles was so pleasing to 
Christ because they accepted His call so readily. They 
might have stopped to ask a thousand questions, but they 
rose up ,vithout delay and follo,ved hiIn. 
You see, then, "\vhat I meant when I said that Inysterics are 
of advantage to us. They enter into our probation. They 
are the occasion of onr practising the noble virtue of faith. 
They are a test of moral character. Nay rnore, by calling 
into action the best principles of our nature they exalt our 
character. You kno,v how. it is in the world ,vhen some nc,v 
and great social question is started-how everyone is affected 
by it. The indolent take their opinions about it froln others. 
The prejudiced aud interested judge of it according to preju- 
dice and interest. Men of principle decide it on grounds of 


* St. John xx. 29. 



lIYSTERIES IY RELIGIO
. 


405 


Inorality. But everyone's position is in S0111e w'ay changed 
by it. So it is ,vith the gospel. Its preaching throws Incn 
into ne,v attitudcs. "TILe O/"OSS of Ohrist is to tlwm that 
perish foolishness, out to them tlìat are saved it is the power 
of Gocl."* The proud and the perverse sttuuble at this stuln- . 
bHng-stone, but 1nen of "good ,vi}]," the lUl1nblc, and the 
loving, find it a precious corner-stone on ,yhich their faith 
has a solid foundation, and on ".hich they are built up to 
everlasting life. So it ,,,as in the time 9f Christ. After our 
Lord had been preaching for some tinle, IIc inquired of the 
apostles into the effects of IIis preaching: "1Vho7n do 1nen 
say that the Son of Nan is 'I" And they saiù: "So1ne say 
that tlwu art John the Baptist, and others Elias, and othel"s 
Jerelnias, 01' one of tILe l>roplwls." " But 'l()lìon
 do you say 
tltat I arn l"t_and Faith, undaunted by difficulties, answ'crs 
by the lllouth of St. Peter: "Thou art Ghrist, tlw Son of tILe 
living God." On another occasion, after lIe had perforIlled the 
miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, as ,ve read in 8t 
J obn's Gospel, He taught the people the doctrine of the Real 
Presence in Holy Comlnunion: "Unless Y01!J eat tlw flesh oj 
the Son ofjJIlln, and drink His blood, you slìall not have life 
in you.":!: Now., what happened 
 Many were offended and 
walked "ith Hinl no more. It was too great a myster
r. 
"How can this 'lnan give ,ltsldsflesh to eat?" they said. And 
our Lord turned to I-lis disciples and said-it seeillS to ITIe I 
can see His anxious countenance, and hear His tones of sorrow. 
as lIe asks the question-" Tfill you also go a1lJay?" And 
again Peter answered on behalf of all: "To whom 87
all we go 1 
Thou hast the words oj Eternal Life." As much as to say, 
"Thou art the Truth; no mystery at Thy lllOuth can deter us." 
So it has been, also, throughout the history of the Church. 
What are aU the heresies that have ariBen but the scandal 
which the world has taken at tbe Christian mysteries, aud 


lie I. CC't". i. 18. 


t St. Matt. xvi. 13. 


t St. John vi. 54. 



406 


MYSTERIES IN RELIGION. 


what are all the decisions of the Church but acts of loyalty 
and submission to Hinl who is "the Faithful and True Wit. 
n css" 
 
And the same thing is going on in our day. " 1Vì8dom 
p'l'eacheth abroad: slw 'ltttereth her voice in the streets. * The 
Catholic Church publishes those startling doctrines which 
have COIlle down to her from the beginning, ,vhich have been 
held everywhere and by all-the principality of the ROlnan 
See, tbe Power of Forgiveness of Sins, the necessity of Pen- 
ance, the grace of the Sacraments-and w h
t is the resnlt 
 
The children of "isdom, they whose hearts.are tender, enter 
her sacred fold and are blessed. But lnany listen and say: 
" It is all very well, if ,ve could believe it. If ,ve could 
believe it! And is it, then, Dot credible 
 lIas not God 
given His revelation conlplete credibility? Can ,ve not 
believe J esns Christ 
 "God, 1Vho in tÍ1nes past spoke to 
the latlwr's by the pJ 1 0phets, llath in these days spoken unto 
us by Hi8 Son. "t "No one knowetllJ tlw Father but the Son 
and Ile to whom tile Son will reveal llirn."+ Jesus Christ has 
spoken. Miracles and prophecy attest I1is Truth and Au- 
thority. Can you, then, innocently refuse to listen 
 "Sure- 
ly they will reverence my son," was the language of the 
father' in the parable; will not God the Father Ahnighty 
look for an equal submission to His Eternal and Coequal 
Son 
 Can He speak, and yon go on as if He had not 
spoken? Can you pick and choose 
unong I-lis doctrines, 
and take up one and reject another ? No, to turn back, to 
stand still, to falter, is a crÍ1ne. The trumpet has sounded: 
men are marshal1ing themselves for the valley of decision. 
Oh, take your part with the generation of faithful luen, the 
true chi1dren of Abraham, who have "attested by their seal 
that God is true." Have courage to believe. Plunge into 
the waters with St. Peter, for it is Christ that is beckoning 
you on. To believe is an act of duty--of fidelity to YOUl 


* PrOTo Î. 20. 


t Heb. i. 1, 2. 


t Matt. xi. 27. 




IYSTERIES IN RELIGION. 


407 


o,vn intelligence, of generosity and devotion to God. "With. 
out faith it ,is not possible to please God."* Faith is the door 
to aU supernatural blessings. There is a ,vhole world that 
exists not to a n1an that has not faith. Faith enlarges our 
thoughts, opens our llearts, elevates us above ourselves and 
Inu1tip1ies a thousand-fold our happiness. Why do' men 
grope in darkness 
 Why do they remain in ignorance, ,vhcn 
by one generous resolve, one courageous act of faith, an act 
so noble, so Ineritorious, they n1ight enter into that Glorious 
TeInple of Truth that has COll1e dow'n out of heaven to man, 
might enter and d,vell therein, and their hearts ,vonder and 
be enlarged 
 IIappy those who can say ,vith the PEalmist: 
"Th!! testimonies are wOndelfltl j t/wrifolye l
atl/; rny soul 
80uglì.l them."t The.}' are wonderful-they rest for their evi- 
dence on Thy \V ord and Thy Truth, therefore I believe them 
aud love theIn, for to be1ie,.e Thee is Iny first duty and Iny 
highest w.isdom. 
Let not, then, the mysteries of our holy religion disturb us, 
Jny brethren, but rather let then1 Inake us rejoice. For what 
are they but the evidences of the greatness of onr religion 
 
They do not repel, they attract us. 'V c believe them on the 
authority of God, and ,ve estemTI it both a duty and a delight 
to do so. N either are they all dark in themselves. Nay, 
they are only dark from excess of light. Each one of them 
has much that addresses itself to onr understanding, luuch 
that en1ists our affections. The angels in heaven ,vofship 
the Trinity with devoutest adoration. "I saw the Selyapldm," 
saJ"s the prophet, "and they covered their faces and cried: 
IIoly, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts 1":1: Incessanti y sings 
the Ohurch on earth: "Glory be to the Father, and to the 
Son, and to the Holy Ghost." There have been saints who 
so dwelt upon all that Faith teaches us of God, that they had 
to go by themselves, in quiet places, for their hearts were al
 


. 


* Heb. xi. 6. 


t Ps. cxviii 129. 


t IsaÍ. vi. 3. 



408 


THE 'VORTII OF THE SOUL. 


but breaking with the sweet but awful sense of His 
Iajesty. 
Let us, t90, learn to love these mysteries and meditate on 
them. "\Ve live in the n1idst of great realities. "You are 
corne to Mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, tlte 
heavenly Jerusalern, and to the COlnpany of many thousands 
of angels, and to the O/
urch of the first-born, 'Lvho are written 
in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits "of 

he j usi made peifect, and to Jesus, tlte Mediator of tl
e New 
restament." * Day by day, let it be our endeavor to pierce 
!nto these holy truths more and In ore, that at last, like Moses, 
Dur countenances lllay reflect some portion of their beauty 
and blightness, that continually" beholding the glory of the 
Lord we may be transformed into the same image from glory 
to glory."t 


. 


SERMON XX. 


THE WORTH OF THE SOUL. 


(TillRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST.) 


II There sball bejoy before the angels of God over one sinner doing penance." 
ST. LUKE xv. 10. . 


THIS is ,vhat theologians call au accidental joy. The 
essential joy of heaven consists in the perfect knowledge and 
love of God, and is unchangeable and eternal; but the acci- 
ùental joy of heaven springs from the knowledge of those 
events in time ,vbich display the goodness and greatness of 
God. The first of these events was the creation itself, when 
thè hand of God spread the carpet of the earth, and stretched 
the curtains of the heavens. Then" the rnorning stars 


* Heb. xii. 22,23, 24. 


t IL Cor. ill. 18. 



THE \YORl'H ü};' THE SOUL. 


409 


pl'aised IIÍlI
 tvgether, and all the sons 0j" God 'Jnade a jO!JJ"ul 
melody." * After this the great historic events of the ,vorld 
13o,e been successively the burden of thc angelic songs-the" 
unfolding of the plan of ReÙClnption, the birth of Christ, the 
triumphs of the Church. nut 10! of a sudtlen tbese lofty 
strains are stopped. There is silence for a 1110111ent, and then 
the golden harps take up a nc\\r and tenderer theIne. 'Vhat 
is it that has happened? 'Vhat is the event that can inter- 
rupt thc great harmonies of Heaven, and furnish the ..A..ngels 
,vith a nc,v song 
 In some corner of the earth, in son1C 
secret chamber, in some confessional, on sonle sickbed, in 
SOlne dark prison, a sinner is doing penance. lIe prays, 
,vhose 100uth had been full of cursings. lie ,veeps, ",'bo had 
Inade a mock at sin. The slave of Satan and of lielI turns 
back to God and IIeaven-and that is the reason of this un- 
usual joy. It is not that a recov'ered sinner is renny of more 
account than one who has never fallen, but his recovery frOltl 
danger is the occasion of expressing that esteen1 and ]o\?e for 
the souls of men ,vhich ahvays fills the heart of God and the 
Angels. Therefore, as that contrite cry reaches heaven, the 
Angels are silent, for they kno,v that there is no lllusic in the 
ear of God like that. And then, when God has ratified thc 
absol ving words of the priest, and restored the contrite sinner 
to His favor, they cast themselves before the throne, anè 
break forth into loud swelling strains of ecstasy and trinn1p h t 
while He Himself silliles His sympathy and joy. 0 my 
brethren, ,vhat a reyelation this is! A reycIation of tlu: 
value of the soul. There are great rejoicings 011 earth ,yhen 
a battle is won, or upon the occasion of the vi"it of some 
great statesman or warrior, or ,vhen some great commercial 
enterprise is successful, but these things do not cause joy in 
Heaven. The conversion of one soul-it may be a child, or 
a young man, or an old woman-the conversion of one soul, 


18 


! Job xxxviii '1. 



410 


THE WOR'fH OF THE SOVL. 


that it is that makes a gala day in Heaven. N O\V, God sec& 
every thing just as it is, and if there are such rejoicings in 
IIeaven ,vhen a soul is ,yon, \vhat must be the value of a soult 
Let us confess the truth, \ve have not thought enough of the 
value of a soul. ",Ve have thought too much of the ,yorld, of 
its pleasures, of its profits, of its honors, but too little of our 
own souls. We have not thought of theIn as God thinks of 
them. Let us, then, stri ,re to exaI t our ideas, by considering 
some of the reasons \vhy ,YO should put a high value on our 
souls. 
In the first place, \ve should value a hunlan soul
 because 
it is in itself superior to any thing else in the '",orld. The 
,vhole world, indeed, ",
ith every thing in it, is good, for God 
Inade it. But He proceeded in a very different manner in 
the creation of the material \vorld from \vhat lIe did when 
He made the soul. He lnade the world, the trees, the 
ri vel'S, the lights of heaven, the Ii ving creatures on the 
earth, by the mere word of his po\ver. " God 8aid, Be lig/
t 
made. ..rind ligAt was 'lnade." * .And God said, "Let the 
ea,)'tl
 bring fortlt tlw gJ'een Aeì'v, ctnd tAe __fruit tree yielding 
fruit aftel" its kind. .And it was 80." t But \vhen lie 
n1ade the soul, the Scriptures tell us, "IIe bl'eatlwd into tlte 
face of man and he became a living soul.":1: By this action 
,ve are to understand that God comlnnnicated to lnan a 
nature kindred to his o\vn divinity. The I-Ioly Ghost, the 
Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, is the nncreatcd Spirit 
of God, eternally breathing forth and proceeding froln the 
v"'ather and the Son; and God, \vhen lIe breathed into the 
face of luan, signified that He imparted to Ulan a created 
spirit kindred to his o\vn eternal Spirit. The Holy Scriptures, 
indeed, expressly tell us that such was the case: "Let 'Us 
mal(;e 'Jnan to our image and our likeness." 
 This likeness 
consisted in tbe possession of understanding and free ,viII, 


* Gen. Î. 3. 


t Gen. i. 12. 


t Gen. i. 26. 



 Gen. i. 26, 27. 



THE WORTH OF THE SOUL. 


411 


the po,ver of kno"ledge and love-the hvo great attributes 
of God himself. Yon arc, then, IllY brethren, cndo,ved ,vith 
a soul ,vhich raises you Ï1nlncasurabl'y above God's Inatcrial 
creation. Yon have a. soul lnade after God's ilnagc. This 
is the source of Jour power. The two things go together in 
IToly Scripture. " Let 'tlS 'Jnake 'lnan to our inul.{/e an.l like- 
ness J' and let ILim Itave dominion over lIte fishes of tlte sea 
and the fowls oftlw al'p, and llw uea8ls, and the wllole ea'l't/
, 
and every creeping creature that movetl" "-pon the earth." 
. 
In the state of original innocence, no doubt, this dorninion 
was lllore perfect, but even no,v it exists in a great degree. 
"E'ce}"y kind of beast, and qf btrds, and if serpents, and of. 
the rcst, is tamed, and ILath lfJen tamed by manl.;ind." t See 
ho,v a little boy can drive a horse. See ho,v a dog obeys 
his 111aster's eye and voice. See how' cyen lions and tigers 
become submissive to their keepers. .And the elenlents, 
often wilder than ferocious beasts, are obedient to you. The 
fire ,varms you and cooks for yon, and carries you "y hen yon 
want to travel for business or pleasure. The wind fans the 
sails of your vessels, and the w'aters n1ake a path for thenl 
under yonr feet. Even the lightning leaps and exults to do 
your bidding and to be the l1lCSsenger of your w'ilL Thus 
every thing falls do,vn before you and does you homage, and 
proclaims you lord and master. 'Vhat is the reason that 
every thing thus honors you 
 It is on account of the soul 
that is in you-the po,ver of reason and ,vill-the godlike 
nature with which you are endowed. 
Yes, and your soul is the source of your beauty, too. In 
what consists the beauty of a man 
 Is it a mere regularity 
of fOrln and feature 
 Do you judge of a man as you do of 
a horse or a dog 
 No; the most exquisitely chiselled features 
do not in terest you, until you see intelligence light up the 
eye, and charity irradiate the countenance-then you are 


· Gen. ii. 7. 


t St. James üi. 7. 



412 


THE WORTH OF THE SOUL. 


captivated. A Ulan may be a perfect model of grace in his 
movelnents 'without exciting you, but when he beconles \varm 
with inspirations pf wisdorn and virtue, whéll his \vords 
fio,v, his eye sparkles, his breast heaves, his \vhole frame 
becomes alive \vith the emotions of his soul, then it is you 
are carried aw'ay, you are ready ahnost to fall do\vn and 
1yorship. What is the reason that Ohristian art has so far sur- 
passed heathen art 
 that the 1\Iadonna is so far I'll ore beauti- 
ful than the Venus de Medieis 
 It is because the heathens 
portrayed mere natural beauty; the Ohristians portrayed 
the beauty of the soul. And if the soul is so beautiful in 
the little rays that escape from the body, ,vhat must it be in 
itself
 God has divided his universe into several orders, 
and ,,"e find the lowest in a superior order higher than the 
highest in the inferior order. The sonl, then, is more beau- 
tiful than any thing luaterÎal. " She is more beautiful t/
an 
the 8un, and above all tILe order of tAe slaTs: being com.- 
pared witlt tlì8 ligllt slle is found befOT8 it." * 0 l11Y 
brethren, do not adlnire men for tbeir forln, or their dress, 
or their grace, but adnlire then1 for the soul that is in them, 
for that is the true source of their beauty. 
It is also tbe secret of their destiny. God did not give 
you this great gift to be idle. He gave it for a worthy end. 
He gave understanding that you might know HilTI, and free 
will that you might love Him; and this is the t
-'ue destiny 
of lnan. You ,vere not made to toil here for a fe,v days, 
and then to perish. Yon were made to know God, to be the 
friend of God, the companion of God, to think of God, to 
converse .with God, to be united to God her
, and then to 
enjoy God hereafter forever. Once more, then, I say, do not 
admire a man for his wealth, or his appearance, or his learn- 
ing. Do not ask whether he is poor or rich, ignorant or 
learned, from what nation he springs, whether he lives in a 


* Wisdom vü. 29. 



TilE 'YORTII OF THE SOUL. 


. 


413 


cabin or palace. Let it be enough that he is a man, pos- 
sessed of understanding and free will, spiritual and immortal, 
w'Ïth a soul and an eternal destiny. That is enough. Bow 
down before him ,vith. respect. Y e
, respcct yourselves- 
not for your l)irth, or your station, or your ,,"'calth, but for 
your Inal1hood. "Let not t/
e 'wise 'lnan gloÎ'Y in Ids wis- 
dom, and let not the strong 'lnan glo}'y in n'ls stJ'cngt/
, and 
let not tlw riclL man glory in Ids riclws. But let hÍìn tltat 
gloÎ'ietlt gloJ'Y in tlds, tltat IIE UNDERSTAXDETIT AX]) KXO'VETII 
ME." --)(- Yes, my brethren, this is your true dignity, the soul 
that is in you-the soul, that makes you capable of knowing 
and loving God. 
And yet, there is another reason why you should value 
your souls, besides their intrinsic excellence- I Inean, the 
great things that have been done for theIne Do you ask lne 
,,,,hat has been done for your souls 
 I ask you to look above 
you, and around you, and under you. Oh, how fair the 
earth is ! See tbese rivers and hills! Look on the green 
grass! Behold the blue vault of heaven! Well, this is the 
palace God has prepared for your abode; _nay, not for your 
abode-your d,velling-place is beyond the skies, ,,,,here" tIle 
b..ght of the moon is as tlw light ojl tlw sun, and the ligld 0/ 
the""13un seven-fold, as the light if seven daY8,"-but for the 
place of your sojourn. This earth was made for you; and, 
as your destiny is eternal, therefore the earth must have been 
made to sub.serve your eternal destiny. Why does the suñ 
rise in the morning, and go down at night 
 It is for yon- 
for Jour soul. Why do summer and winter, seed-time and 
harvest, return so regularly 
 It is for you, and your salva- 
tion. The earth is for the elect. When the elect shall be 
completed, the earth, having done its work, will be destroyed. 
This is the end to w bicb, in God's design, all things are 
tending. God does not look at the world, or its history, as 


* J ere Ïx. 23, 24. 



414 


THE "\VORTH OF THE SOUL. 


we do. We say: "Here such a great battle was fought;" 
"there such a celebrated man was born;" "in this epoch 
such an elnpire took its rise, such a dynasty came to an end." 
But God says: "IIere it ,vas a little child died after bap- 
tism, and w.ent straight to heaven;" "there it was I recov- 
ered that gifted soul, ,vhich had wandered a\vay into error 
and sin, but which afterward became so great in sanctity;" 
"in such an age it was that I lost that great nation which 
fell away from the faith, and in such another, bJ the preach- 
ing of Iny missionary, I won whole peoples from heathen- 
ism." I know we shrink from this in half unbelief: When 
it is brought home to us that this little earth is the centre of 
God's counsels, and our souls of the universe, we are amazed 
and offended. But so it is. " All things work togetlwr' unto 
good to them tl
at love God." 
f All things; not blindly, but 
by the overruling Providence of Him who made them for 
this end. 
Do you ask me ,vhat has been done for your souls 
 I 
answer, the Church has been established for them. Look at 
tbe Church, and see ho\v many are her officers and lnembers 
-Bishops, Priests, Levites, Teachers, Students. All are 
yours-all arc for you. For you the Pope sits on his throne; 
for JOu Bishops rule their Sees; for yon the Priest goes up 
to the altar; for you the Teacher takes his chair, and the 
Student grows pale in the search for science. That the 
. Apostolic commission Inight C0111e dov{n to you, St. Peter 
and St. Linus and Cletus ordained Bishops in the churches. 
That the true doctrine of Christ might come down to you 
uncorrupted, the Ifathers of the Church gathered in council, 
at Nice, and Ephesus, and Chalcedon, and Trent. That JOU 
might hear of the glad tidings of Christ, St. Paul and St. 
Patrick labored and died. For you, for each one of you, as 
if there ,yere ,no other, the great Inachinery of grace, if I may 
express myself so coarsely, goes on. 


* Rom. viii. 28. 



THE \VORTH OF THE SOUL. 


415 


Do JOU ask "hat has been done for your souls 
 Angels 
and .1-\.rchangels, and Thrones and Dominions, and Princi- 
palities and I
o,vcrs-all the hosts of IIeaven-have labored 
for thein. ,. Are they not all ?nini8tering spirits, sent to 
ministl,r for thoöe wlìo "Iìall receive lIte ,in ht-ritance of salvJ-- 
tion 1".;{- For you the ,,-hole Court of Heaven is interested, 
and one bright particular Angel is C01l1Iuissiolled tu be yonI' 
guardian. For you St. Gabriel fie",. on his IIlc::;sage of joy to 
the Blessed Virgin Mary, and St. Michael, the standard- 
bearer, ,yaits at the gate of death. 
Do you ask 'w'hat has been done for your souls? From all 
eternity God has thought ofthetn, the Ineans of salvation have 
been dcternlÍned on, the chain of graces arranged. And the 
Son of God has ,vorked for theIll. Galilee, and J udea, and 
Calvary ,vere the scenes of IIis labors on earth, and on His 
Inediatorial throne in heaven lIe carries on still IIis unceasing 
labors in our behalf. And the IIoly Ghost has worked. lIe 
spake bJ the Prophets, and on the day of Pentecost lIe caU1C 
to take up IIis abode in the Church, never to be overcome hy 
error, or grieved away by sin, to vivify the Sacran1ents, anù 
to enlighten the hearts of the faithful by the preaching of the 
Gospel andlIis o,vn holy inspirations. 
Why, who are yon, my brethren? The WOlnan at Endor, 
,vhen she had pierced the disguise of Saul, and kne,v that she 
,vas talking ,vith a king, ,vas afraid, and "said with a loud 
voice: '1Vhy Ila.fit thou) deceived 'lne,for thOlt art Saul l' "t 
So, I ask you, w'ho are you 
 I look upon yonr faces, and I 
see nothing to lnake me afraid; but faith tears R'vay the 
disguise, and I see each one of you radiant ,vith light, a trup 
prince, and an heir of heaven. I look above, and see Hea,.en 
open and the Angels of God ascending and descending on 
errands of which you are the object. I look higher yet, and 
I see God the Father watching J'ou ,vith anxiety, and the 


* Heb. i 14. 


t I. Kings xxviii. 5/2. 



416 


THE WORTli OF THE SOUL. 


Son offering his blood for you, and the Holy Ghost pleading .. 
,vith you, and the Saints and Angels, some \vith folded hands 
supplicating for yon, and others pointing ,vith outstretched 
finger to the glorious throne reserved in IIeaven for you. 
Have you, my brethren, so regarded yoursel ves 
 IIave 
you valued that soul of yours 
 Have you kept it as your 
most sacred treasure 
 Is it no\v safe and secure 
 Oh, how 
carefully do men keep a treasure they value highly! l{ings 
spend many thousand dollars yearly just to take care of a fe\v 
jewels. The crown jewels of England are kept, as you know', 
in the Tower. It is a heav.y fortress, guarded by soldiers ,vho 
are ahvays on ,vatch. At each door and avenue there is an 
arlned sentinel. The jewels thelnsel ves are kept in glass 
cases, and visitors are not allowed to touch theine And all 
this pains and outlay to take care of a fe,,,,, stones that have 
come down to the Queen by descent, or been taken from her 
enemies! And th
t precious soul of yours, beforè ,vhich all .- 
the ,vealth of the world is but ,,"orthless dross-with what 
care have you kept that 
 Alas! every door has been left 
open. No guard has been at your eyes to keep out evil 
looks. No guard at your ears to keep out the whispers of 
temptation. No guard at your lips to stop the ,yay to the 
profane or filthy word. Nay, not only have you kept up no 
guard, but you have carried your soul where soul-thieves con- 
gregate. The IIoly Scripture says: ".A net is spl"ead in vain 
before tl
e eyes of a òÙ"d." * Yes, the birds and beasts are 
cunning enough to avoid an opeñ snare; but you go rashly 
into dangers that are apparent to all but you. Sinners lie in 
wait for you. They say, in the language of Scripture: 
" Oome, let 'us lie in wait for blood; let 'Us n,ide snares for 
the innocent 'wit/
out cause. Let us swallow him up alivf' 
like II-ell, and wh ole as one that goeth clown into the pit"- 
and you trust yourself in their power. Oh, fly froIH them! 


* Provo i. 1'1. 



TilE '\YORTH OF TIlE SOUL. 


417 


Consider the treasnre :rou carry.. "TVhat shall it profit a 
'n
an to gain tlw wlLole wOl'hl and lose Ills own t'joul ?" 'Vi 11 
you sin against your own soul? JOu that are 111ade after 
Goù's likeness; Jon that are princely'and of noble rank, \vill 
you defile that Í1nage, and degrade Jonrsel,cs to a level ,vith 
the brutes that perish 
 
But there are others whose offt
nce is of another kind. 
They let their salvation go by sheer neglect. If a man plants 
a seed, he must ,vater it, or it ,,,ill not gro,y. So the sonl 
needs the de,v of God's grace; and prayer and the sacra- 
Inents are thc channels of Goel's grace. Yet hu\v Inen neg- 
lect the SaCrall1ents! E".en at Easter, ,vhen "'C arc obliged 
to receive theIn, BOlne absent themsel \"cs. It has been n 
matter of the keenest pain to us to miss some nle1l1bers of 
this congregation during the late Paschal season. Yon say, 
you have nothing on your conscience, and it is not necessary 
to go to confession. But is it not necessary to go to COInmu- 
nion 
 Will yon venfure to depriyc Jourselves of that food 
of which, unless ye eat, the Saviour has said, " Ye lLctve no 
life in yon?" Or; you have a sad story to tell. You have 
fallen into l110rtal sin, and you are afraid to come. But 
do you think we have none of the charity of the Angels? 
Only convert truly, for it is a true conversion that gives the 
Angels joy, anù "..c can give you the prolnise that Thon1as à 
I{eInpis puts into the lllouth of IIiln ,vhose place we fill: 
" How often soever a man truly repents and COlnes to nle for 
grace and pardon, as I live, saith the Lord, who desireth nOt 
the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be con verted 
and live, I will not remeInber his sins any more, but all shall 
be pardoned hiIn." 
And to yon, my brethren, who, during the Easter season 
just past, have recovered the grace of God, I have a ,vord of 
advice to give in conclusioB. Keep your souls with all dili- 
gence. Keep your sonls; that is your chief, your only .care. 
I{eep thel11 by fleeing froln the occasions of sin. I{eep them 
18* 



418 THE CATHOLIC'S CERTITUDE CONCERNING 


by overcoming habitual sins. Nourish thern by prayer and 
the sacran1ents. IIow great a disgrace, that all the irrational 
,vorld should do the will of God, and you, the rulers of the 
,vorld, should not do it ! "The kite in tlw air hath known . 
her time; the turtle, and the swallow, and tlw stork have ob- 
served the time of their co')}
ing,. but 'Jny people have not 
known the judgment of the Lord."* How great an evil it is 
in a state when an unworthy ruler is at its head. The 
people mourn and languish, and at last rebel. So, 'v hen a 
Juan neglects the end for which he was made, the ,vhole 
creation cries out against him. The stones under his feet cry 
out. The air he breathes, the food he eats, protest against 
tbe abuse he nlakes of theIne Balaanl's ass rebuked the mad- 
Dess of the prophet; so, ,vhen you live in sin, the very beasts 
cry out: "If we had souls, ,ve would not be as you. Now 
we serve God blindly, and of necessity; but if we had souls, 
it ,vouid be our pride and happiness to give Hinl our willing 
service." All things praise the Lord ;-" showers and de,v ;.., 
"fire and heat;" "Jl10nntains and hills;" "seas and rivers;" 
"beasts and cattle." 0 Bons of rnen, make not a discord in 
the universal harmony! Receive not your souls in vain! 
Serve God; "praise Hiln and exalt Him forever." 


. 


SERl\ION XXI. 


TIlE CATHOLIC'S CERTITUDE CONCERNING THE WAY OF SAL. 
V.A.TION. 


(FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST.) 


U I know whom I have believed, and I am certain that lIe is able to keep 
that which I have committed to Him against that day."-II. Tnr. I. 12. 
· No one can deny that this sentilnent of the Apostle is a very 
conlfortabIc one. To be confident of salvation is surely an 
excellent and desirable thing. But the question with many 
* Jar. viii. '1. 



TilE WAY OF SALV..\TION. 


419 


will be, is it possible to attain it? Now', there is one sense 
in ,vhich w'e cannot have a security of our sal vation. We 
cannot have personally an infallible assurance that ,vo are 
no,v and shaH always continue in the grace of God, and shan 
at last taste the joys of heaven. Our free-,,
ill forbids such 
an assurance, and neither our happiness nor the attributes of 
God dClnand it. But there is another sense in ,vhich a lHan 
may be said to have a security of his salvation, viz.: that he ha
 
within his reach, beyond all duubt, the proper and necessary 
means for attaining that end; for if the Ineans are certain, it 
is plain that in the use of those means he may acquire a 
Inoral certainty that be is doing those things ,,'hich God rc- 
quires of hiln, and a ,veIl-grounded hope of ev'erlasting lif(1. 
Such a securit.y it \vould SCell1 a luan ought to be able tù 
attain. Without it the service of God lllust be slavish. 
There can be 
o free and generous service where there is not 
confidence. When one is travelling at night on a road lIe is 
ignorant of, he goes slow', he falters; but in the broad day- 
light, in a road he is sure of, he walks ,vith a free, bold step. 
So in religion, if w'e have no security that ,V'e fire dght, '\?c 
can never do much for God. 1tlan is not an abj ect being; 
he is erect; he looks up to heaven; he seems to face his J\Iakel' 
and to demand from IIinl to knQw the terms on w'hich he stands 
to,vard Hiln. A confidence, then, at least of being able to 
secure our salvation, 111Ust be within our reach. The only 
,question is, ho,v is it to be attained? I answer, the aatl
olic 
has ,vithin his reach the security of his salvation, and he 
alone. 
In order to show this to you, I n1ust remind you of ,vhat I 
mean by salvation. Pnt out of your n1inds that childish 
idea that salvation is an external, arbitrary re,vard, given to 
SOlne men 'when they die, and denied to others, as a father 
gi ves a book or a plaything to an obedient child, and refuses 
it to a disobedient. Salvation is union ,vith God. We are 
made for God. That is our high destiny. In God are our life 



420 TIlE CATHOLIC.S CERTITUDE CONCERNING 


und happiness; and out of God our death and ruin. Salva- 
tion i
 our union with God for all eternity, and, in order to 
be united to God for all eternity, ,ve nlust be united to HÜn 
here. Our salvation ll1ust begin here. Now, ,ve are united 
to God 'when our intelligence is united to His intelligence by 
the kno,vledge of His truth, and our 'v ill united to His "Till 
by the practice of Iris love. vVhen I affirlll, then, that the 
Catholic alone has the means of attaining a security of salva- 
tion, I Inean that he alone has the certain means of coming to 
the knowledge of His truth, and the practice of His will. 
I say the certain rneans of coming to tlw knowledge of rh.s 
truth, for it is one t
ing to have a certain kno,vledge of a thing, 
and another to have only some ideas about it. "\Ve see this 
diflerence when ,ve contrast the language of a man who is 
Inaster of a science váth tbat of one ,vho has only vague 
notions about it. One possesses his knowledge-knows what 
he kno,vs-can make use of it; ,vhile the other is elllbar- 
rassed the Inon1ent he attempts to use his knowledge-is 
uncertain ,vhether he is right or ,vrong-is driven to guesses 
and conjectures. In the same way, in religion, it is one thing 
to have convictions Ino1'e or less deep-opinions 1110re or less 
probable, to be acquainted ,vith its history and able to talk 
about it-and quite another to have certainty in religion, to 
know that one is right. This is the assurance I claÍ1n as the 
· special possession of the Catholic. There can be no doubt 
that Catholics do, in point of fact, show a lnuch deeper con- 
viction of the truth of their religion than Protestants. This 
is a matter of common observation, and the proofs of it are 
on every side. Officers ,vho come back from the arnlY tell 
how struck they have been. ,vith the fact that the Catholic 
soldiers believe their religion and carry it with thern to the 
camp. Proselyting societies make frequent confession of the 
difficulty they find in undermining the faith even of ignorant 
and needy Catholícs. Those ,vho have experience at death- 
beds, know that faith is found sometimes surviving almost 



'rHg WAY OF SALVATION. 


421 


every other good principle, and making a return to God pos- 
sible. Those \vho are f
uniliar ,vith the history of the Ohurch 
know' that this faith is strong enough to bear the severest tests 
,,?hich can be applied to it; that it has often led men tC1 
despise ,,'hat the world JIlOst estemns-,vea1th, pleasures, 
honor; that it sends the missionary to heathen countries 
\yithout a regret for the home and tho nati '''0 land he leaves 
behind him; that, in fine, it bas of ton led 1110n in tÍ1nes past, 
anù still at this day leads thelll joyfully to the rack, the stake, 
and the scaffold. Now, ,,-hence COlnes this deep and fixed 
(
ertainty in religion 
 Is it a mere pr
judiee that 111elts 
before investigation? Is it a stupid fanaticisln 
 Or has it a 
reasonable basis, and are its foundations deep in the laws of 
the human mind? I answ'er, Catholics have this undoubting 
conviction on the principle of faith in an infallible authority. 
There are but t\VO principles of Christian belief, ,vhen ,ve 
come to the bottom of the n1atter. 0 no is the Protestant 
principle, viz. : that each one is to settle his faith for himself, 
by a study of the clear records of Christianity. The other 
is the Catholic principle, viz.: that each one is to receive his 
faith from an infallible authority. I feel as if I onght to 
pause here for a while to explain to you ,,
hat is Incant by 
this principle, for there exists in regard to it in some nlinds a 
misconception which does us the grossest injustice. Son1e 
persons itnagine that our creed is manufactured for us by the 
Pope and the Bishops; that whatever they Inay think right 
and good they may decree, and forth,,-ith ,ye are bound 
to believe it. But this is an enorn10US mistake. The au- 
thority to which I submit myself is something far more 
august. It lies behind Pope and Bishop, and they must 
I.ow to it as well as I. The Pope and the Bishops nre the 
organs of this authority, not its sources. When we speak of 
learning from an infallible authority, we mean that å man is 
to find out the truth by putting his intelligence in communi- 
cation with that Ii \
in
 stream of truth that flOWA down 



422 THE CATHOLIC'S CERTIT{;})E CO:SCER
Il\G 


through the channel of tradition, thnt living word of God, 
that public preaching of the truth in the true Church, begun 
by the Apostles, carried on by their successors, confessed by 
so many people, recorded in so JTIany monuments, adorned :)y 
so lTIany sacrifices, attested by so many Iniracles. Unques- 
tionably, this ,vas the mode in ,vhich men ,vere expected to 
learn the truth in apostolic days. It would not have been 
of the least avail for n man to have said to the Apostles that 
his convictions differed from theirs. He ,yould have been 
instantly regarded as in error. " "\Ve are of God," says St. 
John; "he that is of God, heareth 'us; he that is not of God, 
beareth not us. By tlds shall ye know the spirit of truth, 
and the spirit of error."* N or is there the least intimation in 
the New Testament that this principle was to be departed 
froln after the death of the Apostles. On the contrary, we 
find that the Apostles ordained others, and communicated to 
them their doctrine and authority, that they might go on and 
preach just as they had done. And we :find in the earl.r 
Church that whenever a dispute arose about doctrine it \vas 
settled on the saIne principle, viz.: by an appeal to the tra-- 
dition of the churches that had been fOill1ded ùy the Apostles. 
Thus, when a heresy arose in the second century, Tertulliau 
confronts it by bidding them con1pare their doctrine ,,,ith 
that of the Apostolic Churches: "If thou art in Achaia," 
he says, "thou hast Corinth; if thou art near ltlacedonia, 
thou hast Philippi; if thou art in Italy, thou hast R0111e. 
Happy Church! to which the Apostles bequeathed not only 
their blood, but all their doctrines. See "\\-hat slw has learned, 
fiee what slw has taught."t Such is the principle on which the 
Catholic Church acts to this day. Now, while the Protestant 
principle of privnte judgment in its own nature cannot lead 
to certainty, while in point of fact it has led only to endless 
dispute, until in our o,vn day it has ended by bringing those 
Divine Records, which it began by exalting so highly, into 
· L St. John iv. 6. t Adv. Præscr. Hær. D. 32-6. 



'fHE ,rAY OF SALVATIO
. 


423 


doubt and contempt; the Catholic principle, which, I have 
stated, is the principle of tradition, is adapted to give a com- 
plcte and a reasonable certainty and assurance. The reasons 
,vhy this public tradition of the living Church 11as this po'wer 
are rnanifold. They are in part natural, and in part su- 
pernatural-uni,rersal consent, internal consistency, Divine 
Attestation, the Warrant and !")roluÌse of Christ; all of 
'which are so "
ell sUlumed up by St. Augustine, in that fa- 
n10US letter of his to the }'Ianichees: "I aIU kept in the 
Catholic Church," he says,-" by the consent of peoples and 
nations. By an authority begun ,vith miracles, nourished by 
hope, increased by charity, confirmed by antiquity. By the 
succession' of priests from the chair of St. Peter the Apostle 
-to "whom our Lord after IIis reS111Tection gave IIis she,-'p 
to be fed-down to the present Bishop. In fine, by that very 
name of Oatholic, ,vhich this Church alone has held possession 
of; so that though heretics would fain have called then1selves 
Catholics, 
ret to the inquiry of a 
traDger, 'Where is the 
meeting of the. Catholic Church held
' no one of thelu 
would dare to point to his own basi1ica."
{- The conviction 
which such considerations produce is so deep that a Catholic 
rests in it with the most undoubting certainty. lIe can bear 
to look into his belief, to examine its grounds; he feels it is 
a venerable belief. lIe says it is impossible that God ,vould 
allow error to ""year so many D1arks of truth. To imagine it, 
,vould be to impugn IIis Truth, IIis Justice, IIis Power, Ills 
Goodness. ..å.nd therefore, our belief in the Catholic religion 
is only another form of our belief in God. The foundation 
of that belief is deep and abiding, for it is the Eternal Throne of 
God. That desire for truth which is implanted in man's nature 
is not, then, given only to be baffled and disappointed-here 
is its fulfilment. Man 
s not raised to a participation in Christ 
of the Divine Nature, to be left in doubt of the most essential 
truths. To the Catholic are fulfilled those pleasant words of 
* Con. Ep. Manich. i. 5. 6. 



424 THE CATHOLIC'S CERTITUDE CONCERNING 


Christ: "I will not now call you servants, for the servant 
kno1.veth not what his Lord doetl
,. but Illave called YOM 
friends, because aZl tldngs, wl
atsoeveT I llave hear'd fl'om, 
'Jny Þlttlwr, I have 'Jnade kno'wn to you."* 
But some one may make an objection to my doctrine that 
certainty about truth is the result only of the Catholic prin- 
ciple of faith, and say: " You do not mean to assert that Pro- 
testants have no faith at all
" A Protestant may say to lne : 
" I acknovdedge that we have among us a great deal of dis- 
union, and a great deal of doubt, but after all there are some 
things that are believed by some of us, that are believed 
without doubt, and you will not deny it." No, I will not deny 
it. I am glad to think that it is true. But how did you come 
by that belief
 You did not come by iton the principle ofProt- 
estantism. The truth is, that principle never has been, and never 
can be carried out. Thank God, it is so. Utter unbelief would 
be the consequence. You have a child-a child that you love 
dearly. Will you wait, aß your Protestantisln requires you to 
do, till he is grown up, for him to form his religious convictions 1 
No; if you love him, you ,vill not. Your heàrt will teach 
you a better wisdom. Yon will tell hiIn about God, yoú 
will tell him Who Christ is, and what lIe has done for him. 
You will tell hilTI these things not doubtingly, not as if he 
was to suspend his judgment on them, but as true, and as to be 
believed then and there. And as he looks up at you out of 
his trusting eyes, he believes you. But how does he believe 
you? On the principle of a Protestant, or a Catholic 
 On 
the principle of private judgment, or on faith in an infal- 
lible authority 
 Surely it is as a Catholic he believes 
 You 
represent to him the Great Teacher, and his childish soul, in 
listening to you, hears the voice of God, performs a great act 
of religion, and does his :first act of homage to Truth. HiB 
nature prompts him to believe you. Perhaps he is baptized, 
and then there is a grace in his heart which secretly incliues 
* St. John xv. 15. 



THE WAY OF SALV_\TIOX. 


425 


hÍ1n the more to credit you, and be believes ,vithout doubt- 
ing. lIe is a Catholic. Yes, Iny brethren, there is 111any a 
child of Protestant parents ,vho is a Catholic-a Catholic, 
that is, in all but the n
tlne, ana the fnlnes::; of instruction, 
and the richness of privilege. TIe may gro,v up in this way, 
perhaps continue all his life in this childish faith and trust. 
I will not say it may not be so. But let his reason fully 
a,vaken. Let him honestly go down to the foundation of his 
faith and see on what it rests, and then let hÍ1n relnain a 
Protestant, and retain his undoubting assurance if he can. 
He cannot-a crisis in his hi8tory has come. The sun has 
arisen ,vith its liying heat. The llo".er begins to ".ither. It 
must be transplanted or it will die. One of three things will 
happen: either the man, finding that he has not learned all that 
the Great Teacher has reyealed, will go on to accept the 
rest and will become a Catholic; or he ,villiearn to doubt 
what he has received already and become a sceptic; or he 
will stick to the creed he has received from his fathers or 
picked up for himself, and doggedly refuse to add to it, thus 
rendering himself at the same moment amenable in the Court 
of Reason for unreasonableness in ,vhat he holds, and in the 
Court of Faith for unbelief in ,vhat he rejects. So true it is 
that all the faith there is in the ,vorld is naturally allied to 
Catholicity. If men ,vere perfectly reasonable and consist- 
ent, there ,vould be only two parties in the religious \vorld. 
Protestantism ,vould disappear. On the one side ,vould bo 
faith, certainty, Catholicity; on the other, doubt and un 
belief. 
N or is this all. The Catholic has not only a certain means 
of arriving at the knowledge of God's Faith, but he has also 
the sure means of knowing what he is bound to do in order 
to salvation. Christianity is a supernatural religion, and 
therefore it suggests many questions to which natural reason 
cannot give the answer. By what means can I be united to 
Christ? Suppose I aln in mortal sin, how ean I be forgiven i 


.. 



426 THE CATHOLIC'S CERTITUDE CONCERNIXG 


What are the precise obligations binding on n1e as a Christian 1 
No",., how. distinctly, ho,v pron1ptly were such questions 
answered in the time of the Apostles! When St. Paul came 
to Ananias to kno,v what he ,,"'as to do, the ansvver ,vas 
given to him: "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy 
sins." In the saIne ,,",ay in the Catholic Church of this day, 
when a convert asks the same question, he gets the same 
answer: Seek in faith and repentance the cleansing of 
baptism, and thou shalt be joined unto Christ. Dost thou 
,vish to know the life thou must practise 
 It is written in 
the ten commandll1ents and the precepts of the Church. 
Dost thou wish to know where thou wilt gain strength to 
keep these laws 
 In prayer and the sacraments. The 
Church tells you how many there are, what is their effi- 
cacy, and the conditions of their saving operation. Art thou 
in sin after baptism 
 Dost thou ask the way back to God 
 
The Church tells thee that sorrow for sin is the way back, 
and that this sorro,v, when it is completed by confession, and 
accepted by the absolution of the priest, has a sacramental 
efficacy. So precise are the answers of Catholicity to the im- 
portant practical questions of Christianity; and the authority 
which, I have already said, attaches to her words, gives ease 
and certainty to the conscience. But how different is all this 
in Protestantism! How various the ans,vers giyen to these 
questions by the different sects ! Nay, how contradictory 
sOlnetimes the answers given in the same sect! It would be 
odious to go into particulars on this subject, but I say wl]at I 
know when I affirm that an intelligent Protestant cannot 
have faith in his Church, if he would; he may adopt a set 
of opinions and associate with those who hold them, but he 
cannot have faith in his Church as a Church. It is not long 
since an intelligent Inember of one of the most enlightened 
Protestant denominations told me that the members of that 
Church did not seeln to be satisfied with it, only they did not 
know whether there was any other Church in the ,,",orld that 



TIlE WAY OF SAL V ATIOS. 


427 


would satisfy theIne I say ,,,hat I kno,v when I affirm that 
there are young children in Protestant Churches who weep 
because they arc told that God hates them, and they do not 
know' how to gain IHs love. That there arc numbers of 
young Inen, full of generous and noble thoughts and ÌInpulses, 
"ho are utterly destitute of any fixed Christian belief; ,vho 
say they would like to belie\"e, but they cannot. That there 
are Inultitudes and multitudes ,rho die in this land, ,vho die 

ithout one single Christian act, and many who submit at 
their last hour to take part in such acts at the request of 
friends, and on the chance that there may be son1e good in 
them. That there are some "ho openly hunent that they 
were not born Catholics, that they might have had faith; 
some w'ho rise in the night to cry to God out of the hopeless 
darkness that surrounds them; some ,vho, in despair of seeing 
God with an intelligent faith, take up a substitute, the best 
of all, it is true, but still very insufficient-works of benevo- 
lence and philanthropJ"', and the beauties of a merely moral 
life; sonle who would welcome death itself if it would but 
remove their agony of doubt. . 
I dó not say these things, my Protestant friends, if any 
such are present, to mock your luiseries. Far from it. I 
know you too \vell. I love you too Hluch. I say these 
things to lead you to truth and peace. I call to you strug- 
gling with the waves, frolll the rock whereon our f
et have 
found a resting-place. I speak to you to the same effect as 
Christ spoke to the woman at the ,veIl of Jacob, \v ho was a 
meluber of the schismatical Samaritan Church. You wor- 
ship you know not ,vhat. We know ,vhat we worship; for 
salvation is of the Jews. You know not what you worship. 
Your religion is at the best one of doubt and uncertainty. We 
know ,vhat we worship. Weare certain we are right, for 
salvation is of us. We are the Israelites. To us belongeth 
the adoption of children, and the glory, and the covenant, 
and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and tho 



428 


THE CATHOLIC'S CERTITliDE. 


promises. This is the mountain of the Lord established in 
the last clays on the top of the mountains, and exalted above 
the hills, into "\vhich the nations flow. 0 JOu "\vho know not 
this home of peace, God did not make you to be as you are, to 
be tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of 
doctrine, to follow blind guides, to give your money for that 
which is not bread, and your labor for that "\vhich satisfieth 
not. No, come with us and be happy. Come with us and 
be blessed. Come, let us go the mountain of the Lord, and 
to the house of the God of J aco b, and He will teach us IIis 
"\vays, and we will walk in IIis paths, for the law shall come 
forth from Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 
Incline your ear unto me and you shall live-the life of 
faith-the life of certainty and bope. You shall go out with 
joy and. be led forth with peace. Instead of the shrub shall 
come up the fir tree: and instead of the nettle shall come 
up the myrtle tree. All nature shall sympathise in your 
happiness. The mountains and hills shall break forth into 
singing before you, and all the trees of the country shall 
clap their hands. 
And you, my. dear Catholics, be not indifferent to the 
graces G:od has given you, nor slothful in their use. You 
have it your power to make sure your salvation. About the 
means there is no uncertainty. They are infallible. It is 
of the Catholic Church that the prophet spoke when he said: 
"A path shall be there, and a way, and it sl
all be called a 
holy 'l()ay, and th'is sl
all be 'llnto you a straight way, so that 
evenfool
 shall not err thel"ein."* And again: "Tl
l1s saith 
tlw LOl'd God: I will lay a stone in the fo1tndat'ion of Sion, 
a tried stone, a corner--8tone, a preciolls stone, f01tnrled in 
tlwfol1ndation."t A way to heaven in this dark, uncertain 
world! a straight, a sure, a certain way! A rock under our 
feet under this swelling sea! 0 Iny brethren, what bless- 
ings are these! Let them not be in vain. Be .not found at 


* Isai. xxxv. 8. 


t Ibid. xxviii. 16. 



THE PRESENCE OF GOD. 


429 


tbe ]ast day with your lights gone out 1 The just shall 
live by faith. Live by your". Do JOU ,vish to advance in 
a good life? Your faith tells JOU ho,v. Docs sin 1vage a 
war against you 
 Your faith tells you how to meet the 
combat. .Arc JOu in Sill ? Your faith tells JOu how to be 
forgiven. Correspond, then, honestly with this faith, and JOU 
Inay enjoy a firm hope of heaven, a hope not based on excited 
feelings, not claiming to be a direct inspiration from on high, 
but a reasonable hope, that will sta
r by you in adversit.y, 
and support you at the hour of death. Claim, then, your 
privilege. Assert the frcedonl where,vith Christ has made 
JOU free. Be not troubled or anxious all your days. Do 
your part, act up to your Catbolic conscience, then lift up 
your heads, eat your bread with joy, and let your garments 
be always white, for God now accepteth your ,vorks. In this 
is the love of God perfected in us, that we may have confi- 
dence in the day of judgment. ""Tf/teÎ'ifore,"be ye steadJast, 
'unmovable, always abounding in tlte work of the Lord, foras- 
much as ye 7
now that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."* 


. 


SER}'IO
 XXIL 


TilE PRESEXCE OF GOD. 


(P'IFTll smm.\.Y AFTER PEXTECOST.) 


U Indeed the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not. How terrible is this 
place; this is no other than the house of God and the gate of heaven."-GEN 
XVIII. 1 6,17. 


THESE ,yords ,vere spoken by the Patriarch Jacob ,vhen he 
,vas journeying to Syria to visit his uncle. He had stopped 
for the night at a place which was afterward called Bethel, 
and as he lay on the ground with a stone for llis pillow, the 
Lord appeared to him in a vision, and blessed hinl, and fore. 
* I. Cor. xv. 58. 



430 


THE PRESENCE OF GOD. 


told his future greatness and increase. Then, penetrated with 
a sense of the nearness and greatness of God, with 

hom he 
h9 d been conversing, he rose up and exclaimed: l' Indeed the 
Lord is in this place, ånd I knew it not." And trelnbling, he 
said: "How terrible is this place; this is no other than the 
house of God, and the gate of heaven." Now, Iny brethren, 
we may make every morning and every night a similar 
declaration. Wherever we are, we may say: "Indeed the 
Lord is in this place." Every spot on earth, on which a man 
tarries for a moment, becomes the house of God, and tIle gate 
of heaven. You understand what I mean. I am speaking 
of the omnipresence of God. Reason and ftÝth both proclainl 
to us this great truth of the universal presence of God. He 
is present by IIis immensity to all creatures in the universe, 
,vhether living or inanimate. When God created tbe world, 
He did not leave it to itself. He sustains it by IIis presence 
and power, and it is in Him tbat we live and n10ve and have 
our being. IIe is present to our intellectual and n10ral being 
as the light of reason and the object of the will, for without 
Him there would be no rational or moral life. lIe is present 
with us also as the source of that supernatural life ,vhich 
begins in baptism and ends in the uncreated vision of the 
Blessed Trinity in heaven. "He that loveth 1\Ie, shalr 
be loved by My Father; and I ,villlove hin1, and will mani- 
fest Myself to h1m. * * * And J\Iy Father will love him, 
and We will come to him, and \vill l11ake an abode with 
him."* 0 my brethren, what a piercing thought is this of 
the presence of God, if we did but realize it ! Think for a 
moment of the doctrine of the real presence of our Lord in 
the IIoly Eucharist. We believe that Jesus Christ, true God 
and true 
Ian, with IIis deity, IIis soul, IIis flesh ånd blood, is 
present in the holy sacrament of the altar. What conse- 
quences this "doctrine has! The whole Catholic ritual, the 


$' St. John xiv. 21, 23. 



THE PRE5EXCE OF GOD. 


4bl 


ceremonies of worship, tbe re
pect paiù to churches, the bow- 
ing of the knees, the incense, tbe lights, the music-all :flow 
ii.oIn this. In the early ages, during the times of persecution, 
it 'Was customary for OhristÜtns to take home with the111 the 
Dlessed Sacrament, that they luight communicate thenlselves 
in case of necessity. Imagine that such ,yere the custom now. 
Imagine you were to take away with you, this day, as you left 
the church, and carry to your hOlnc8, the sacred host which is 
kept in the tabernacle. IIow silently ,,
ould you go along 
the streets! With ,vhat care would you seek out a place for 
our Saviour's body to respose in! With what care ,,"ould 
you go about Jour home as long as lIe remained Jour guest! 
How would your heart thrill as you reflected, on a "raking in 
the morning, that indeed the Lan} b of God, once crucified for 
JTOU, ,vas no,v a dweller in your own borne t Yet, if such 
were the case, if the Blessed Sacrament ""ere actually kept in 
your houses and in your rooms, God would not be any more 
present to you than He is now. lIe is indeed present in a 
different manner in the Blessed Eucharist. That sacramenta] 
presence, that sweet, precious, consoling presence of the body 
once broken, and the blood once shed for us, is confined to the 
sacramental species. But the presence of the deity, the real 
presence of God, is just as much outside as it is inside the 
church; just as much ,vith us when we are at home as when 
,ve are at Mass. Not if IIis footstep shook the heavens and 
the earth, as it will on the Last Day when He COlnes to 
judgment, wou1d God bs one ,,
hit closer to us or more pres- 
ent to us than He is now to everyone of us, every day, and 
everywhere. Even sin cannot separate us from God. We 
sometimes say that mortal sin separates a man from God. As 
a figure of speech, Ï1nplying the loss of God's grace and friend- 
ship which sin occasions, this language may pass, but taken 
literally it is untrue. A man can never be separated from 
God. That would be annihilation. Even when we are in Sill, 
even when ,ve are committing sin, God is with us and in us, 



r 


432 


THE PRESEI\CE OF GOD. 


the sOlIl of our soul, the life of our life. Yes, here is a bond 
that can never be broken. Never can we escape that awful 
presence-never for a moment, here or hereafter. 'Ve shall 
not be more in God's presence in heaven or less in hell than 
,ve are no\v at this moment. God is not a God afar off up ill 
heaven. lIe is here. This whole universe is only God's 
shadow. Every thing that is attests, not only God's creating 
power, but His living presence. lIe is in the flames and in 
the light, and in thè pastures, in the air, in the ground, in the 
body, and in the soul, in the head, in the eye, in the ear, and 
in the heart. He is in us, and we are in IIim, bathed in His 
presence as in an ocean, breathing in it as in an atmosphere. 
This is what the Psalmist expresses so beautifully: " rVltitlte'i' 
8hall I go frorn Thy 8pÙ'it? or whitlw'i" 8hall I flee fron& 
Thy face? If I ascend into heaven, thou art tlwre; if 1 
descend into ltell, tholt a/pt present; if I take my 'wings early 
in tIle morning, and du'ell in the uttermost parts of tIle 8ea, 
even there also 8hall Thy hand lead me,. and TllY rigllt hand 
81lall hold 'Jne. .And I said: Perl
aps darknes8 shall cove'r 
me j and n'ight 8hall be Zigltt in 'Jny pleasures. But darkness 
8hall not be dark to tlwe j and night 8hall be b'-ght as the day j 
the darkness thereof, and the light thereof, a1"e alike to 
Thee." * 
If we thought more frequently of this, ho,v many sins 
should we avoid! When a man is going to cOIDlnit a crinle, 
he takes precautions against discovery. lIe seeks out a secret 
place. He chooses a fitting hour. Vain precautions! There 
is no secret place on earth, no lonely spot, no time of dark- 
ness. There is a proverb among men that ",valls have 
ears," and the counsel of the wise man is, "IJet.,.act not th6 
king, no, not in thy thought; and spea7
 not evil of the I)'ich 
'Jaan in thy private clìambe'l' j because even the birds of the 
air will carry the voice,. and lie that hath wing8 will tell 


11& Ps. cx
xviii. 7-12. 



THE !)RESENCE OF GOD. 


433 


wltat tll,OU ILast said."
: 'Vhat i5 it that has impressed on men 
tbis universal fear of detection? Is it not an unconscious 
acknowledgn1ent of the prcsence of God? Ye8, we cannot 
shut tbe door against IIirn. 'Ve caunot Ie aye IIim out. We 
cannot draw tbe blind before IIis eye. "TILe eyes ()f tlw 
Lopcl in evel
y J}lace bellold tlte good and tlw evil."t "Bifoi>e 
ilLat Ph'ilip called tlwe, wlwn t/
o1.t 'wast 'under tIle fig-ll>ce, I 
sa'w tlwe,":f: said our Lord to Nathanael. I ",
ish you thougbt 
more of this; I am sur
 it ,vould save you from many ã sin. 
I have read of a holy man who, on hearing a person say that 
circumstances were favorable to the commission of a shame- 
fiù sin, because no one ,vas present, exclain1cd: "What! arc 
you not ashamed to do that before tbe living God which you 
would be ashamed to do before a manlike yourself
" Evcn 
the eye of a dog has restrained men from the con1mission of 
crilne-how much more ought the eye of God! Listen to the 
language you hear as you lXlsS through the streets. The 
sacred names of God and Jesus Christ, bow they are bandied 
about! 'V ould men speak so, if they realized that God and 
Christ were tben and there present 
 'V ould they insult God 
to IIis face 
 Suppose our Saviour were to appear to one of 
these men as he was pouring out his oaths and blaspheIIÚes, 
in tbe guise in ,vhich lie was as lIe journeyed to Calvary to 
die for man, with sorrow in IIis eye, and sweat and blood OJ} 
IIis forehead, with weak and faltering steps, and lips mute, 
but fun of appealing love and agony; would he still go on witb 
his dreadftùoaths 
 No! The knee would be bent, the head 
would be bowed, and the very ground on 'which lie walked 
would be regarded with reverent awe. Why so 
 Mere] J' 
because ho saw Him with his bodily eyes 
 Would it not be 
the same, if he '\yere to close IIis eyes, and yet be aware of 
His presence 
 And is lIe not present to JOU as truly as if 
you sa 'v Him, hearing each imprecation and blasphemy 


j& Eccles. x. 20. 
19 


t Provo xv. 3. 


t St. John i. 48. 



434 


THE PRESENCE OF GOD. 


which you utter 
 01], spare Hill1! spare those sacred ears; 
spare His majesty and Ilis goodnc3s, and cease to profane IIis 
holy name. Tertullian, speaking of the early Cbristians, says 
they talked as those who believed tbat God was listening. 
Let the thought of God's presence be deeply graven on your 
soul, and it will teach you to use tbe language of a Christian 
--at least it will cure you of blasphGll1Y. 
It will cure you also of another siú of the tongue: that is.. 
of falsehood. Lying implies a virtual denial of God's pres. 
ence, as well as blasphelllY. 'Vhen you lie, you forget tha 
there is One who know's tbe truth-,vho is IIÍl11self the- 
Eternal Truth; and you act as if lIe knew not, or 'WOlÙÙ be a 
party to your fh.l,ud. Every lie is, in this respect, like the lie 
of Ananias ançl Sapphira-a lie to God. 
Oh ! how lunch 111USt God be displeased by all the sins He 
,vitnesses. It is said of righteous Lot, that ii'oln day to ùay he 
vexed his righteons soul at all the sins which he ,vitnessed ill 
Sodom, ,vbere l1e d"vvelt. IIo,v lnust the Holy God be vexed 
every day at all the dark deeds, the injustices, the Ï1npllrities, 
the falsehoods, the deceits, the treacheries, the cruelties, to 
which lTIen cornpel Hiln to be a ,vitness ! Isit not a neces- 
sity that Christ should COtl1e with ten thousand of His saints 
to take. vcngeance on the ungodly ! Would it not Seetl1, 
otherwise, that God Inade I-lilnself a party to onr sins by 
keeping silence 
 "Tlwse things ltast thou done-," says the 
Ahnighty, "and I was silent. Tltou tl
o1.tgl
test unjustl!! 
tl
at I 81
all be like to thee: bItt I will reppove tlwc, and set 
before thy face." * David comlnitted. adultery in secret; l'u t 
God declared to hilll that lIe ,vonld pnnish hÍln before all 
Israel, and ill the sight of the sun. So the Judgment Day 
\fill bring to light every secret thing, and rnanifest, in the 
sight of all, those hidden sins ,vhich have ùeen comlnitted in 
the presence and witb the full knowledge of God. They 


=t' Ps. xlix. 21. 



THE PRESEXCE OF GOD. 


435 


have never been hidùen froln God, and tho diselosnrcs of the 
IJfist Day are only the Presence and the I\:no,vledge of God 
asserting and l11anifesting thclllsel \
es to lnen. l'he thought 
of God, and of His OUlnipresence, is thus the greatest pre- 
servati ve against sin. 
nnt this is not all. .The thought of GOd
8 perpetual and 
uniycrsal presence is onr greatest strength and consolation. 
''"'"hat a cOlnfort it "
onlù be to have n. ft'ient1, ,,,ho loved us 
truly, "ho Vlas 1110st sincerely desil:ons of onr "re1f
tre anf} 
happiness, ,,'ho '\
as yery ,,-ise and able to help us in difficul- 
ties, never variable or capricious, but ah\rays true and faith- 
ful and trusbvorthy! The possession of snch a friend ,vi] I 
go as far as any thing earthly can go to Inake one perfectly 
happy. No,v, each one uf us really has such a friend. Such 
a tì'iend? .1\ h! far better, far ,viser, far l110re loving-e\-en 
the good God! God, in the IIo].}' Scriptures, represents the 
soul of man as a garden, in ,vhich it i::, His delight to walk 
about. What fin idea this gi ves us of the falniliarit.Y a lnan 
IDay have vdth God. Why do not men take advantage of 
this loving condescension 
 "\Vhy do they not converse ,vith 
God? Why do they not think of IIiln? The face of Moses 
shone after he had been talking to God on l\Ionnt Sinai, and 
onr countenance ,vould Le light and joyous if "Te d ,velt 11101'0 
in God's presence. Oh, to think of it! \Vhen ,ve ,valk in 
the streets, ,vhen ,ve sit doW'n and rise np, there is one ever 
at onr side-no, not at onr side; but in us-onr very life 
a
d being; God, the Beautiful and Good. God, Who lnade 
the heavens and the earth; the God of our fathers. God, Who 
has been the c01l1fort and stay of the just in all ages, 1Vho 
talked ,vith ..l
..brahalll, and went before the chilàren of Israel 
in a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night. God, Who 
gave manna from heaveñ, Who spoke by the prophets, and in 
the still, small voice on Mount IIoreb; Who a\yoke Salnnel, 
as he la)T sleeping in his little -crib in H1e prie3t's chamber, 
and chose David, the youth.. fair and of a ruddy connte- 


It 



136 


THE PRESENCE OF GOD. 


nance, to be the prince of IIis people; and ,vho, in these last 
days, hath revealed I-lilnself in His Only Begotten Son, fun 
of grace and truth. 
He it is Who is ,vith you aud me, even froln our youth 
unto this day. 0 thou ,vho art afilicted, tossed ,vith tern- 
pests and not comforted, ,vhat clost thou ,vant 
-,vhat \vouldst 
thou have? The Eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath 
thee are the everlasting arms. Thou hast but to open thy soul, 
and floods of con1fort and strength \vill pour into thee. .L\.rt 
thou ,veak? He is thy Strength. Art thou sad and lonely 
 
He is thy 0011s01er. Art thou guilty? He is thy Redeell1er 
-the God ready to pardon. Does the ,vorld allure thee { 
His Beauty "rill l11ake its attractions pale. Is thy heart 
weary and inconstant 
 lie is unfailing and unchanging. 0 
source of strength, too lTIuch slighted! 0 happiness, too 
often blindly rejected! In the presence of God there is 
pleasure and life. "They tl
at l
ope in the Lord sl
all renew 
tlteil' strengtA,. they sltall take 'wings as eagles,. they sl
all 
run anrZ not be weary,. they sl
all walk and not faint." 
" Fop He is a covert f')1om the wind, a ldding-place f:r01Jl the 
storrrì, as river's if waters in a dry place, and the sltadow of a 
great rocl
 in a weary land." * 
Learn, then, my brethren, to keep yourselves in the pres 
ence of God. To forget God, what is it, but to plunge onr- 
selves into sin and Inisery. To-;"emel11ber God, ,vhat is it, 
but to be strong and happy. "'V alk before Me, and be 
thou perfect," said God to Abrahan1. That is the secret 
of perfection, the way to heaven. It is not necessary to go 
out of Jour o\vn mind. It is not necessary to lift the eye 
to Ilea Yen, or bend the knee. Oloser than the union of soul 
and body is the union bet\veen God and thee. Quicker 
than thought is the comlllunion between thy soul and its 
Maker. "T/
ou shalt cry," says the Almighty, "and I will 


* Isai. xl. 31; XL"'i:ii. 2. 



KEEPI
G 'l'BE LAW NOT I
IPOSSIBLE. 437 


say: Ilere I ant-yea, e'ccn before thy call, I will hear, 
and et'en 1.clâle tltou al't yet speaking I will an8wep."
\-- Prac- 
tise, then, attention to the presence of God. I do not speak 
so lnnch no,v of daily prayers, and ûf your deyotions in tbe 
chureh. TIut when JOu are abroad in the busy world, or in 
your honles, accustonl yourselyes from time to titne to tbink of 
God. Complicated pieces of lnachinery require the care of 
an overseer from tim
 to time, le
t they get out of gear. So 
we ll1USt think of God from time to time during the ùay, and 
keep the power8 of our soul in harmony with the will of God, 
lest they fall into disorder, and the work of life be hinùereù. 
It is not a work of very great difficulty. The chief difiìculty 
lies in its Silllplicity. It i
 so n1uch easier to pray than we 
think, that oftentimes ,ve have already prayed ,vhen ,vc are 
perplexing ourselves how to pray, and busying our8elvcs ,vith 
preparing to pray. God is in us, in the very centre of our 
SOlÙ. lie know
 its lnost secret thoughts, and thus a simple 
act of the ,vill is enough to bring us into C01l1111Union with 
Hiln. To realize this is to be men of pra:rer, to be as happy 
as it is possible for us to be in this life, and to l)egin here that 
contemplation of God ,,"hich will constitute our everlasting 
beatitude in heaven. 


0. 


SER1IO
 XXIII. 


KEEPING _ THE LAW NOT IMPOSSIBLE. 


(XI
TIl 8UNDJ..Y AFTER PENTECOST.) 


"I can do all things in Him who strongtheneth me. "-PHIL. VI. 13. 


IF I am not mistaken, a very great number of the sins that 
men commit, arc committed through hopelessness. The 
pleasures of sin are by no means unmixed. Indeed, sin is a 


* Isai. Iviii. 9; lxv. 24. 



438 KEEPING TII
 LA"\V NOT IMPOSSIBLE. 


hard master; and aU ,yho practise it find it so. I never met 
a man who said it was a good thing, or that it made him 
happy. On the contrary, aU lalnent it, and say that it makes 
thelu miserable. Why, then, do they commit it ? Very 
often, I am persuaded, because they think they have no power 
to resist it. They feel in then)selves strong passions; they 
have yielded to them in thues past, they see that others yield 
to then1, and so they eome to think it impossible not to yield 
to them. The law of God is too difficult, they say. It is 
impossible to keep it. It may do for priests or nuns ",,.ho 
are cut off from the world, or for women, or for the old, or 
for cl)ildren,. but for us who mix in the world, ,vhose blood is 
,varm, and whose passions arc strong, it is too high and pure. 
It is all very well to talk about; it is all very ,,"ell to hold 
up a high standard to us, but you must not expect us to at- 
tain it. The utmost that you can expect of us is to stop sin- 
ning, no,v and then, and make the proper acknowledgn1ents 
to God by going to confession; but actually to try not to sin, 
to keep on endeavoring not to sin at any time, or under any 
circumstances, that is Ünpossible, or at least so extrelnely 
difficult that, practically speaking, it is impossible. Are 
there none of you, my brethren, ;vho recognise this as the 
secret language of your hearts 
 Is there not an impression 
in your minds tbat the law of God is too strict, or at least that 
it is too strict for you, and that you cannot keep it? If so, 
do not harbor it. It is a fatal error. No; it is not impossible 
to keep Gód's law. It is not impossible to keep from mortal 
sin. It is, I admit, impossible to keep from every venial sin, 
though even here we can do a great deal, if "We try. Such is 
the frailty of human nature that even the best men, as tÏIne 
goes on, fall into some slight faults, only the Blessed Virgin 
having been able, as we believe, to pass a whole life without 
even in the smallest thing offending God. But it is possible 
for aU of us to keep from mortal sin, at all times and under 
all circumstances. This, I think, you will acknowledge when 



KEEPI
G TIlE LAW NOT I
IFOSSIBLE. 4
9 


you con
idcr the c]larncter of God, the nature uf God's law, 
and tho po,vcr of GOlfs grace ,,
hiLh is l)rolnised to us. 
I say the character of God i
 a rlc{lge of onr ability to keep 
froln mortal sin. God requires us to be free fror;llllortal sin, 
and 1-Ie requires it under the 
e\?erest penalties, and therefore 
it 111USt be po
sible for us. lon nUlY say, "God requires ns 
to be free ii'onl venial sin too, and yet you have ju::;t said ,vo 
cannot avoid every yenial sin." nnt the case is far different. 
..A. venial sin does not separate us froln God, and does not re- 
ceive extreme punishment froln IIim-llaJ", those yenial sins 
,vhich e\
en good nlen commit, and which are only in slTIall 
part voluntary, are very easily forgiven-but a nlortal sin 
cut us off entirely fronl G or1, anù deserves eternal PUlli8h- 
" lnent. Yon l---uo:w, one mortal sin is enough to dalnll a Il1aU 
-one single sin of drunkenlles s, for instance, or impurity; 
a cherished hatred, a false. oath, or an act ûf gravo injustice. 
One such sin is sufficient to sink a lllan in hell, and although 
we know very little in particular of thö torments of hell, ""0 
have e,ery reason to believe that tbeyare most bitter, and 
,ve l\::now that they are eternal. K O'\Y, can it be thought that 
a being of justice and goodness, as ,ve know God tö be, would 
inflict so extreme a punisbment for an offence ,vbich was Ul1- 
a\oitlablo, or could only 11e avoided with tbe utn10st .difficul- 
ty 
 Holy...Scripture send::; us to an earthly parent for an 
example of that tenderness and affection which we are to ex 
pect froIll our lIeavenly Fatber. "If YOlt, veing evil, know 
how to give good gifts to YOUí
 child pen, ltoW rn'llclt 'lnore will 
your Fatheí
 'lv!tO is in !waven, give good tldng8 to t!w'j}
 that 
asl.; flin1." 

 .What would be the thought of an earthly 
father wbo laid upon his son a con1mand wl1ich it was all 
but impossible for him to comply with, and then punished 
him with the utmost rigor for not fulfilling it 
 You would 
not call that man a father, but a tyrant; a tyrant like Pba- 


* St. Matt. vii. 11. 



440 KEEPING THE LAW NOT IMPOSSIBLE. 


raoh, who would not give straw to the children of Israel, 
and yet set taskluasters over them to exact of them the full 
measure of bricks as when straw had been given them. 
Why, if you were going along the street and saw a n1an ,vhip- 
ping llnlnercifully an overloaded horse, you would not bear 
it patiently. And would you attribute conduct so disgrace- 
ful among men to our Father in heaven 
 God forbid! Far 
be such a thought from us! It is not so. 'Ve must not 
think it. At least we cannot think it as long as we remain 
Catholics; for when the earlier Protestants proclaimed the 
shocking doctrine that though God punished men for dis- 
obeying his law, man was really unable to obey it, the Ohurch 
branded the doctrine as a heresy to be abhorred of all men, 
as most false in itself, and most injurious to God. No; God 
loves his creatures far Inore than we conceive of: lIe does 
not desire the death of a sinner. He wills truly the salvation 
of all men. His gooc1ness and mercy, nis truth and justice, 
are all so many infallible guarantees of our ability to l
eep 
IIis law. He would not have given us IIis law unless lIe had 
meant us to }reep it. lIe would not punish us so severely for 
breaking it, unless our breaking it was an act of deliberate, 
wilful, determined rebellion. 
But there is another source from which I draw the con- 
clusion that it is possible to keep the law of God-from the 
nature of the la,v itself. The law of God is of such a nature 
that, for the most part, in order to commit mortal sin, it is 
necessary to do or to leave undone some external act, which 
of its o'wn nature it is entirely in our po,vcr to do or not to 
do. For instance, the law says, "Thou shalt not steal,-" 
now, to steal, you have got to put your hand into your neigh- 
bor's pocket. The law says: "Thou shalt do no mU1'del' ,-" 
to murder, you must stretch out your hand against your 
neighbor's life. Nay, it requires ordinarily several external 
actions before a mortal sin is consummated. Thus the thief 
has his precautions to take, and his plans to lay. The drunk.. 



KEEPIKG TilE LAW NOT I
IPOSSlnLE. 441 


arù has to seek the occasion. lIe seeks the grogsl10p. Every 
step he takes is a separate act. When he gets there, it is not 
the fÌr13t glass tluÜ makes hÍIn drunk. lIe drinks again anù 
again, and it is only after all these different and repeated ac- 
tions that he falls into the 11lortal sin of drunkenness. K ow, 
here yon see are external acts-acts in which the Land, the 
foot, tLe lips, are concerned, and which, therefore, it i:-; per- 
fcctly in our po"\ver to do or to let alone. This requires no 
proof, but aclnlits of a striking illustration. You have heard 
of the great sufferings of the martyrs; ho,v S0111e of theln 
,\yere stoned to death, others flayed alive, others cruci1ied, 
others torn to pieces by '\vild beasts, others burnell to death. 
N OW", 'what was it al1 about 
 1.... ou answer, "They suffered 
because they ,voulcl not deny Christ." Very ,veU; hut how 
were they required to deny Christ? ",VLat ,vas it they ",-ere 
required to do? I Vtyill tell yùu. Son1etimes they were re- 
quired to take a few grains oÎ incense and throw it on the 
altar of Jupiter; that ,yould have been enough to have saved 
then1 fronl their sufferings. They. need not have said, '
I 
renounce Chri::;t ;"' only to have taken the incense would have 
been sufficient. Sometimes tlley "
ere required to tread on 
the cross. Sometimes to swear by the genius of the Roman 
emperor; that "Tas all. .....\nd the fire was kindled to Inake 
them do these things; but they would not. The flames 
leaped upon thern, but not a foot ,vould they lift from the 
ground. Their hands ,vere burnt to the bone, but no incense 
would they touch. The marro,v of their bones melted in th e 
heat, and forced from them a cry of agony, but the name of 
the emperor's tutelary genius did not pass their lips. N O'V, 
,viII you tell n1e that you cannot help doing ,yhat the martyrs 
would not do to save thern from death 
 They had a fire be- 
fore theln and a scourge behind them, and they refused ;" and 
you say you cannot help yourself when you are under no ex- 
ternal violence whatever! They died rather than lift a hand 
to do a forbidden thing; have you not the same power over 
19* 



- 


442 KEEPL
G THE LA'V KOT I1JPOSSIBLE. 


your hand that they had? They died rather than utter a 
sinful "ord; have you not as much po\ver over your tongue 
as they? Indeed you have, for you control both one and the 
other ,vhenever 
you will. I say there is no sinner 'v hose 
conduct does not show that his actions are perfectly in his 
own po\ver. The thief waits for the night to carryon his 
trade; during the day he is honest enough. The greatest 
libertine kno,vs ho\v to behave hÏInself in the presence of a 
high-born and yirtuous felnale. And eyen that vice ,vhich 
men say it is n-10st difficult of all to restrain ,,
hen once the 
habit is formed-profane swearing-you know ho\v to rc- 
strain it ,vhen. you will, for even the heaviest curser and 
swearer ceases fi
om his oaths before the priest, or any other 
friend ,vhom he greatly respects. N o,v, if you can stop 
cursing before the priest, why can you not before yòur wife 
and children? If you can be chaste in the presence of a 
virtuous female, \\
hy can you not be chaste every,vhere 
 If 
yon can be honest when the eye of man is on you, ,vhy can 
yon not be honest when no eye sees you but that of God ? 
"But," SOlnc oneJnay say, "there is a class of siIis to ,vhich 
the renlarks you have made do not apply, that is, sins of 
thought. You IIlUst aùmit that they are of such a nature 
that it is all but impossible not to commit thenl." No, I do 
not admit it. I acknowledge that sins of thought are In ore 
difficult to guard against than sins of action; but I do not 
acknowledge that it -is impossible to guard against then1. 
To prove this, I have only to remind you that an evil thought 
is no sin until we give 'Consent to it. To keep ahvays free 
f1'on1 evil thoughts may be impossible, because the ÍInagina- 
tiOll is in its nature so volatile, that but few men have it in 
control; but, though it be not possible to re3train the ÎInagi- 
nation, it is always possible to restrain the will. In order 
for the w,.ill to consent to evil it is necessary both to knovJ 
and to cl
oose, and therefore froln the nature of the thing one 
can never faU into sin either inevitably or una,vares. And 



KEEPIXG THE L
\ ,y KOT IMPOSSIBLE. 


. 443 


bei3iùe
, the will has a powerful ally ill the conscience, ,yho
e 
province it i5 to keep lB fi'oni sin and to rcproach us ""hen 
,YC do sin-
o that it i::; scarccly 
ossiblc, for une ,yho habit- 
ually trios to keep free frolll Inortal sin, to fall into it ,,"ith- 
out his conscience giving a distinct and unnlÍ
takaùle report; 
.J.-\.nd this is so certain that bpiritual '\Titers 
ay that a pcr.;on 
of good life and tender conscience, ,,""ho is distressed .with 
the uncertainty ,vhethcr or no he ha::; given conbellt to an 
evil teillptatioll, ought to banish that anxicty altogetllcr and 
to be sure that he has not cons3nted. But suppose the.32 
evil tClnptations are iUlportunate, and remain in the soul 
even 'when wo resist thenl, anù try to turn frol11 thel11 
 K 0 
luatter. They do not become sins on t
at account; nay, 
they become the occasion of acts of great ,irtue. I t is re- 
lated in the life of St. Catharine of Sienna that on one oc- 
casiQJ.l that pure virgin's soul was assailed by the most horri- 
ble temptations of the devil. They lasted for a long tilne, 
and after the conflict our Saxiour appeared to hor ,vith a 
serene countenance. ,.. 0 my Divine Spouse," she said, 
.., ,yhere ,vast thou ,vhell I was enduring these conflicts 
n 
"In thy soul," he replied. ""\Vhat, with all these filthy 
abominations
" "Yes, they were displeasing and painfnl 
to thee; this therefore ,vas thy 111crit, and thy victory ,ya.; 
o,ving to' 
Iy presence." So that we see even here, where 
the danger is greatest, tþ.e law of God exacts of us nothing 
but "That in its O'Vll nature is in our pow'er to do or not to do. 
But if you ""ish another proof of 
your ability to keep 
God's law, I allege the powe1 1 of Ills f}}1ace. I can imagine 
an objector saying: " You have not touched the real difii- 
culty, after all. The difficulty is not on God's side; no doubt. 
lie is good. and holy. K either are the requirenlents of hi3 
Jaw so very hard. The difficulty is in us. ,Ve are fallen 
by nature. W e have sinned after baptism. 'V e ar
 so 
weak, so frail, that to us continued observance of the divine 
commandluents is impossible." No, my brethren, neither is 



444 


KEEPING THE LA W NOT l
rpOSSIBLß. 


--.. 


tbis trne. It is not true froln the mouth of any man; least 
of all frolTI the mouth of a Christian. " No. temptation," 
says the A postle, "l
ath taken hold of you but SltCh as is 
Iluman: And God is fa it hful, 'who 
oill not suffer you to 
be teTJtpted above that 
ohic/
 you are able; but 'will also 

oith the temptation make a 
oay of escape that you may be 
able to bear it."
f The ,veakest and frailest are strong enough 
with God's grace, and this grace He is ready to give to those 
that need it. .At all times and in all places lIe bas been 
ready to give His grace to thelll tbat need it, but especially 
is this true under the gospel. Tbe Holy Scriptures make 
tbis the distinguishing characteristic of tbe times of the gos- 
pel, tllat tbey sball abound in grace. "Take courage, and 
feal' not," the prophet says, in anticipation of the time ,vhen 
Christ should come in the flesb, "Behold, God 
oill come 
and save you. Then slLall tlw eyes of the blind be opened, 
and the ears of the deaf u,nstopped. Tlwn shall the lame 
man leap as an hart, and tl
e tongue of the dumb shall be 
fl'ee; for 
oaters a1'e bJ'oken out of the desert, and streams in 
tl
e 
oilderness. .And tlLat which was dJ'y land shall become 
a pool, and tlw tllirsty land 8pJ'ings of water."t Such was 
tbe promise, hundreds of yea!,s before Christ, of a time of 
peace, of bappiness and grace; and ,vhen our Lord was come, 
lie published that tbe good time had indeed arrived: "The 
spÙ'it of the Lord lLatl
 anointed me to preach the gospel to 
the poor. IIe hath Bent me to heal tl
e contrite qf lwart. To 
preach deliverance to tl
e captive, and sight to the blind, to 
,(jet at liberty tlw'J}
 tltat aloe brui8ed, to preach the acceptable 
!fear of tlw Lord.":f: Y e3, the great time bas come; the cool 
of tbe day; the evening of tbe world; the time wben labor is 
ligbt and reward abundant. 0 my bretbren, you know not 
what a privilege it is to be a Christian ! You enter a church. 
You see a priest in his confessional. A penitent is kneeling at 


· I Cor. x. ]3. 


* Is. xxxv. 4-'1. 


t St. Luke iV. 1t 18, 19. 



KEErI
G 'l'llE I.JA \V NO'r I
IrOSSIBLE. 415 


his feet. The sight lllakes but little impression on you, for you 
are accusto111ed to it, but this is that "fountain" prouliseù 
by the prophet ,,, to tlw Itouse of David and to tlw inllavitants 
(1"1 Jel'1.lSalelll,for tlte waslting of the sinneJ' j" a fountain that 
flo'ws from the Saviour's side, and not only cleanses, but 
strengthens and makes alive. Y on pass an altar. The priest 
is giving comn1union. Stop! it is the Lord hilllself! the 
bread of angels! the wine of -virgins! the food" 1()lu;J'cof if a 
1nan eat he snalllive forever." And not only in the church 
do you find grace; it follows you home. Yon shut yonr door 
behind you, and yonr Father in heaven waits to hear and 
grant your prayer. Kay, at all tilnes God is 'w'Íth yon, for 
you are the temple of God, and lIe bits on the throne of your 
heart to scatter IIis grace on you 'wheneyer and ,vhcrcver 
you ask niBl. Do not say, then, Christian, that you are un_ 
able to do what God requires of you. It is a Sill of black in- 
gratitude to say so. Even if it were ilnpossible for others to 
keep the law of God, it i
 not for yon. lIe hath not done to 
every nation as he hath done to you. "hen the patriarch 
Jacob was dying, he blessed all hi
 children, but his richest 
blessing was for Joseph. So God has blesseù all the 
hildren 
of His hand, but you, Christian, are the Joseph whom lIe 
hath loved more than all His other sons. To others lIe hath 
given of" tlw dew of heaven," and" tlw fatness of tiLe eartll," 
but you "He hath ble8sed with all spi'pitual blessing8 in 
Ol
'J'ist." . 
Away, then, w"Ïth the notion that obedience to the com- 
luandments of God is impracticable-a notion dishonorable 
to God and to ourselves. It is possible to keep free from 
mortal sin-for all-at all times, under all temptations. 
Nay, I ,vill say luore. It is, on the ,vhole, easier to live a 
life of Christian obedience, than a life of sin. I say " on the 
whole," for I do not deny that here and there, in particular 
cases, it is harder to do right than wrong; but taking life all. 
through, one who restrains his passions willl have less trouùle 


C> 



446 KEL'PING THE LA'V N01' I
IPOSSIBLE. 


than one ,vIto indulges thel11. IIeroic actions are not re- 
quired of us every day. In order to be a Christian, it is not 
necessary to be always high-strung and enthusiastic. It is 
not necessary to be a devotee, to adopt set and precise ,vays, 
to take up ,yith hypocrisy and cant-in a word, to be un- 
Iuanly. It is just, for the lnost part, the In05t luatte1' of fact, 
the nlost practical, the most sÎ1nple and straight-for,va l'd 
thing in the world. It is to be a mall of principle. It is to 
have a serious, abiding purpose to do 0111' duty. It is to he 
full of courage; not the cOlu'age of the braggart, but the 
courage of the soldier-the couràge that thrives under oppo- 
sition, and Slll',
ives defeat, the courage that takes the Ineans to 
secure success-vigilance, humility, steadfastness, and prayer. 
Before this, all difficulties vani8h, and this is what w.e ,,-ant. 
most of all. It is amazing how little courage there is in tbe 
world. 'Ve are like the servant of Eliseus, the prophet, ,vho, 
.when he a,yoke in the morning, and saw the great army that 
had been sent by the ICing of Syria to take his master, said, 
"Alas, alas, alas, ?ny lorel; wl
at sl
all we do I" But Eli- 
seus showed hiln another army-the army of angels ranged 
on the mountain, with chariots of fire and horses of fire, 
ready to fight for the servants of God, and he said, " Fear not: 
fOl' there are more witlt us tItan witlt tltC7n." 
.:. Why should 
we fear 
 Christianity is no ne,v thing. The path of Chris- 
tian obedience is not an un tried path. Thousands have trod 
it and are now enjoying their re,vard. God, and the angel::;, 
and the saints, arc on our side. And there are multitudes 
of faithful souls in the word ,vho 
re :fighting the good :fight, 
and keeping their souls unsullied. VVe cannot distinguish 
thelTI no
", but one day we shall know them. 01! let us 
join them. Yes, ,ve ,,,,ill make our resolution 1l0'V. Other" 
may guide themselves by pleasure or expediency; we ,viII 
adopt the language of the Psalmist: "T/
y WOl>d is a lalnp 


* IV. Kings vi. 15-17. 



TilE SPI1U r OF SACRIFICE. 


447 


to Ú1Y fe
t, and C6 li!Jl
t to "lny 1)Ltth8."
{- W 0 ,,,ill be Chris- 
tians, not in nalne, but in ùeeù. Not for a tilue ouly, but 
ahvays... One thought shall cheer us in sadness and nerve us 
iu ,veakne::-::3: ,. I have swo/'n an(l G1n dcteru
i/lecl to keep the 
judglrlCnts (?J'>> Thy justice." t 



 . 


SER}'IO
 XXIV. 


THE SPillIT OF S \CRIFICE.. 


(FOR TilC FEAST OF 6T. LA"t"RCXCE, )IAr.TTR.) 


u I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present 
your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to Goù, your reasonable servicc."- 
ROlr. XVII. 1. 


TilERE is, my brethren, among lllany 1110n ,vho practise 
Christian duties to a certain cxtent, one rClnarkaùlc 
'want. I ,viII can it the ,vant of the Spirit of Sacrifice. 
COlnpare such l11en ,vith any of the saints, and yon ,vill see 
at once ,vhat I Inea11. One saint 111ay ùiffer a great deal ii'oln 
another, but this is con1lnon to them all-a vivid sentilnent 
of God's greatness and Sovereignty, of His right to do ,vith 
us ,vhat lIe ,vil]s, and a willing anù re\?erent recognition of 
that right. No,v the defective Christianity to ,vhich I allude 
Jacks this spirit &ltogcthcr. It differs frOIl1 the Christianity 
of the saints Dot only in degree but in kind. Not only docs 
it fail to produce as 'lnany sacrifices as the saints lnado for 
God, but the idea of Sacrifice is cOlnpletcly strange and 
foreign to it. It bargains about the commandnlonts of God, 
and, ,vhcn any commandlnent is difficult, postpones fulfil- 
Illent, 0"1.' refuses it altogether. To prevent any of you froln 
being content with so Ì111verfect and unsatisfactory a sort of 


* Ps. c:x:viii. 105. 


t Tbid. 106. 



443 


THE SPIRIT OF SACRII!'ICE. 


- 
religion, I will give you this Inorning some reasons ,vhy you 
should ailll to serve God in the spirit of sacrifice. 
First, then, I assert that the spirit of sacrifice is necessary. 
Goel requires it of us. On this point I think some people 
Inake a Inistake. They seenl to think that a ,villingness to 
make sacrifices for God is one of the ornamental or heroic 
parts of religion, and th
t everyday people are not required 
to have it. But this is not so. The Spirit of Sacrifice is re- 
quired of everyone. I infer this from the fa.ct that an ex- 
ternal sacrificial ,vorship is necessary. It is frequently said 
that there is no religion ,vithout a sacrifice. And this is trne. 
There never has been, nor indeed could there l)e, a true re- 
ligion ,vithout having some external act of sacrificial worship.- 
But ,vhy is this necessary 
 Not silnply because ,ve are sin- 
ners and need propitiation, for some theologians have thought 
that sacrifices would have been necessary, though man had 
never sinned. What religion requires a sacrifice for, is this 
-to express our sense of God's supreme Sovereignty. In a 
Sacrifice there is sOlnething offered to God and destroyed, 
thus signifying that God is the Author of Life and Death, 
our Creator, our Ruler, our Suprelne Judge. The excellence 
of the Christian Sacrifice-the Sacrifice of the 1Iass-consists 
in this, that the victilll offered is a Ii ving, reasollabh
') Divine 
Victiln, even the Son of God Incarnate, "\Vho by E:

 Life 
and Death rendered lllost ,vorthy hOlnage to the Divino 
J\Iajesty, and still in every J\fass, continually, offers it 
ano,v. 
This, then, is ,vhat tho Mass is given us for, and this is ,vhy 
,ve are required to assist at the 1.Iass, that ,ve lnay in a per- 
fect and ,vorthy n1anner recognize God's Sovereignty and our 
dependence on IIim. "\Vhen we assist at 
Iass, the Ineaning 
of our action, if put into words, would be something like this: 
" I ackno,vledge Thee, 0 God, for my Sovereign Lord, and 
the Supreme Disposer of my Life and Death, and because I 
am not able worthily to express Thy Greatness, I beg of Thee 



TilE SPIRIT OF S
\CRIFICE. 


449 


to accept, as if it ,,"cro U1Y Qw'n, all the submission ,vith ,vhich 
Thy Son honored Thee on the Cross, and no\v again honors 
Thee in this IToly Sacrifice." K o\V, it cannot be irnagillcd 
that "We are requireù to Inakc this l)rotession to God ,vithout 
at the sanle tilHe bcing required to havo in our hearts that 
sentilnent of God's greatness and sovereignty ,vhich ,ve ex- 
press '\vith our lips. Our Lord did not COlnc to suffer anù 
die, and give Iris life a sacrifice to the Father, to dispen
e us 
frOln the obligation of \vorshipping God ourselves, but to give 
to our worship a perfe
t exalnpIc and a higher acceptability. 
'Vithout our ,,"orship the 1tlass is incomplete. On our Lorù's 
part, indeed, the Sacrifice of the Mass is a1 \,",'ays eflicacious, 
for He is present ,,,,herever it is celebrated; but on our part 
it is ernpty anti unn1eaning if no one rcally fears Goò, snb- 
nlÍts unreser\?edly to IIilTI, is ,villing to do all lIe conunanòs, 
and ackno"ledges that all that could be done for IIiJn is too 
"'- 
little. A worship of Sacrifice ilnplic
 a life of sacrifice. This 
is beautifully illustrated in the life of 81. Laurence, ,vhose 
lTIartyrdonl ,vo cclebrate to-day. 
St. Laurence was ono of the seven deacon3 of the city of 
Rome in the third century of the Christian era. ..c\S deacon, 
it was his office to serve the Mass of St. Xystus, who was at 
that time Pope. "\Vhen the persecution broke out under the 
EUlperor Valerius, St. Xystus was seized and carried off to 
martyrdom. As he ,"Vas on his way, St. Laurence follo\ved 
him wee l JinO" and sa y inO'. "Father where are vou O'oin o ' 

 t). , J b ö 
,vithout your son 
 Whither are you going, 0 holy priest, 
without your deacon ? You were not wont to offer sacrifice 
without me your minister, wherein have I displeased yon 
 
lIave you found lne \\?allting to Iny duty 
 Try me no'v and 
see whether you have Inade choice of an unfit minister for 
dispensing the Blood of the Lord." And St. Xystus replied: 
"I do not leave you, my son, hut a grea.ter trial and a lnorc 
glorious victory are reserved for you who are stout and in the 
.vi
or of youth. We are spared on account of our weakness 



450 


THE SPIlUT OF SACRIFICE. 


and old age. You shall follo\v me in thr2e days." And, in 
fact, three days af[er, St. Laure:qce ,vas burnt to death, his 
faith rendering hiln joyful, even lnirthful in his sufferings. 
Now, I do not look on this convers
tion as poetry. Times 
of affliction are not tilnes when nlen look around for fine 
way
 of expressing th81n-3elve.3. At such tilnes words corne 
straight from the heart. I S08, then, in the words of St. 
Laurence the seatiment3 with which h3 wa3 accustomad to 
assist at 1\lass. As he knelt at the foot of the altar at \vhich 
the Pope was celebrating, clothed in the beautiful dress of a 
deacon, his soul was filled ,vith the thoughts of God's great_ 
ness and goodness, and alol1g,vith the offering of the heavenly 
Victim, he used to offer to God his fervent desire to do SOlne- 
thing to honor the Divine .Thlajesty, the color sOlnetimcs 
l110unting high in his youthful cheek as he thought how 
joyfully he ,vould yield his own heart's blood as a sacrifice, 
if the occasion should offer. 1\Iartyrdoln to hilTI was but 
a natural completion of 
Iass. It was but the realisation of 
his habitual worship. 
In the early history of the city of St. Augustine, in Florida, 
it is related that a priest, who was attacked by a party of 
Indians, asked permission to say ]Iass before he died. This 
was granted hitn, and the savages 'waited quietly till the 
lvlass was ended. Then the priest knelt on the altar steps 
and received the death-blo\v fronl his lllurderers. With 
what sentiments must that priest ha,ve said l\Ias3! 1vith ,vhat 
devotion! with ,yhat reverence! with what self-oblàtiol1! 
So, I suppose St. Laurence, and St. Xystus, and the Chris- 
tians of the old time were accustQmed ahvays to assist at 

Iass, with the greatest desire to bonor God, tbe most COU1- 
plete1:;piI'it of self-sacrifice. Now, I do not say we are all 
bound to be as holy as these great saints. I do not even say 
we are bound to desire Inartyrdom; but I do say there is not 
one kind of Christianity for tbe saints and another for ordi- 
nary Christians; one kind, all self-denial for them, and another 



TIlE SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE. 


4Öl 


kind, all self:'indulgence, for U8. I say God is to us \vhat lIe 
is to the saints-our Creator and our Sovereign; and lIe 
demanJs of us the worship of creatures anù buùjects-thc 
worship of sacrifice-a \villingness to do an ho delnands ûf 
us now, and a readiness to do greater things the mOlnent 
that lie makes it kno\vn to us that such is I1is Will. 
IIo\v lllany difficulties, IllY brethren, such a Fpirit tak0S 
out of the way of Christian obedience! It cuts oft' at Olle 
blow all our struggles with the decrees of God's proviùence. 
Ho\v much of our misery comes fronl InurnlUril1gs against 
the proyidence of God! One is suffering uuder sickness and. 
pain, another is overwhelmed "with reverses and afflictions, 
another is irritated by continual temptations. Koone can 
Jeny that these are severe trials; but see how' the spirit of 
sacrifice disposes of them. It says to the sick Ina}), to the 
suffering Inan, what Isaac saiù to his father .L\..braham on the 
lTIOUn tain: "See, here is fire and ".ood, ùut \v bere is the 
victim for a burnt offering
" 1Iere are the nUlterials for a 
beautiful act of sacrifice. It ",vants only a 111eck heart for a 
viCtÍlll, and love to light the flaIl1e, to turn the sickþed, the 
house of mom'ning, the soul agitated by teInptation, into an 
altar of the purest worship, and the language of cOlnplaint 
into the liturgy of praise. Again: it sometinles happens 
that a man gets inyolved in relations of business or friend- 
ship, or becomes addicted to some indulgence, which threaten 
to ruin his soul, and he is required to renounce theIn, to give 
up the intÏ1nacy, to change his business, to deny hin1self that 
indulgence. The command of God is ,distinct and peremp- 
tory: "If thy ltanrl or tH!! foot scrtnclalize thee, cut it cff' antl 
ca...,.t it fl'01Tb thee. .And if thy eye scandalize tlwe, pluck it ont 
and cast it from tlwe." 

 Irow does be receive it 
 lIe 
says: "It is too hard." Too hard! And is it, then, only 
God for ,vhorn we are unwilling to do any thing hard? We 


" 


* St. Matt. xviü. 8. 



45g 


THE SPIRIT OF SACRIFICE. 


must make sacrifices of some sort in life, and heavy ones, 
too. We cannot get rid of the necessity of making th
ln, 
do what ,ve will. The world req uire3 them of us. Our 
families require them. Our health requires them. Our 
pleasure requires them. Nay, our very sins require theIne 
.Lt\.nd .what we do willingly for the world, for our falnilie:;, for 
our health, our pleasure, our sins, shall ,ve refuse to do for 
the great and good God 
 for Christ our Saviour, who did 
not refuse the Cross to give us an exalnple of the obedience 

"e owe IIis Father 
 - 
Or take another example: A person who is not a Catho- 
lic finds much that is reasonable in Catholic doctrine, but 
makes a great stumbling-block of confession; or evcn a 
Catholic gets a dread of it, and stays a,vay for years and 
years from the saCralllel1ts of the Church. N O\V, of course, 
in such cases it is only charitable to show that the difficulty 
of confession is very much magnified, and that, like manJ 
other things that frighten us, it loses its terror wIlen we ap- 
proach it; but, to say the truth, I always feel sOlnething like 
shame ,vhen I hear one trying to prove to such persons that 
confession is easy; partly because I kno\y he cannot suc- 
ceed perfectly, since confession is of its own nature arduous, 
and in particular cases may be very difficult; but chiefly, 
because I cannot belp thinking if God IIimself were to an- 
swer them, it would be in the few strong ,yords lIe has used 
in the IIoly Scripture: "Be still: and know tlLat I a17
 God."-:f 
A creature must not parley with his 
Inker, a sinner with 
his Judge. 
Yes: we shrink from the very lllentiòn of sacrifice, yet It 
is the spirit of sacrifice that makes all our duties easy. No 
doubt it .is our privilege to reason about the comlnandments 
of God; and we shall often see, ,,,,hat we know is always the 
case, that they are full of wisdoln and goodness; but we 


* Ps. xlv. 11. 



THE SPIInT OF SACRIFICE. 


453 


need in practice some principle that is ready at hand ahvaYE 
to be used in every tilne of trial, in every difficulty, and that 
is the Spirit of Sacrifice, a profound reverence for God, an 
unquestioning conviction of His absolute right to dispose Of . 
us as lIe will. Abraham had this spirit, and therefore faltered 
not a moment 'v hen the command caIne to sacrifice his son 
Isaac. Moses had it, and therefore "wlwn lie was gJ'own 
'lip, refused to be called tlte son o/.P!laraolt's daugldel', c/toos- 
'infj 'I'atlwl' to sldfel
 persecution witlt tlw people of God, tItan 
to enjoy tlw pleasltre of sin for a tÍ1ne."
' Tho Chri:ìtian 
saints have had it, and therefore they trampled on every 
repugnance, every attachment, when it came in the way of 
their })erfection. And this principle is the life of the grea 
religious and charitable orders of the Church. Thc30 insti 
tutions are a mystery to Protestants. Soon after the "I
ittle 
Sisters of the Poor" were established in London, a Protestant 
,vriter, in one of the periodicals of the day, described a visit 
he had made to their establishment, and after giving a most 
interesting account of the self-denying laùors of the com- 
munity, he says he was curious to trace the feelings that ac- 
tuated these ladies in devoting themselves to duties so apt to 
be repulsive to their class. lIe suppo
ed that bene\
olence 
was the impulse most concerned, but, on questioning the 
Sisters, found that this was not the case, but that the basis 
of their action was a principle of self-renunciation for Christ's 
sake. To him such a motive had in it something strange 
and unnatural; but, really, this is always the sustaining 
principle of all high religious action. Every thing fails sooner 
or later but tbe spirit of sacrifice. TIlÍs is the spirit that 
docs great things for God, that cuts down the mountains in 
our road to heaven and fills up the valleys, lnaking straight 
paths for our feet. 
Ând how pleasing is such a spirit to God! Even among 


* Heb. xi. 24. 



454 


TilE SPlinT OF S.\.CHIFICE. 


lTIen such a spirit is highlyesteeuled. Who does not ach11ire 
a generous, self-saerificing man? In a f
tlnily, who i
 so 
much loved as the one whose thoughts are all for others? 
1Vhere are such tears. shed as over the fresh grave of a self- 
forgetful friend 
 1Vhat l11ake3 the character of a mother so 
beautiful but the trait of self-sacrifice 
 And so before God 
there is nothing so beautiful as the spirit of S3,crific8. .ll. 
religion ,vhich does not centre in itself, but ,vhich centres in 
God, that is Ilis delight. There is nothing abject in such a 
spirit. T<;> serve God is to reign
 God knows our nature, 
and He requires of us nothing but what gives to our ,vhole 
being its highest har111ony. The man \vho has the spirit of 
sacrifice is a royal man. Ho\v beautiful, my brethren, is an 
altar! Every thing connected in our lnillds \vith an altar is 
beautiful. When we think of an altar, ,ve think of sweet 
flowers and burning lights, and smoking incense, and a Ineek 
victil11, and worship, ll1Usic, and prayer. So, in the heart 
where the spirit or Sacrifice reigns, there are s\veet flowers 
of piety, and fl:ll11ing zeal, and the silent victiln of a heart 
that struggles not, and the incense of prayer, and the har- 
monies of joy and praise. Oh, if there is a sacred place on 
earth, a home of peace, a shrine, a holy of holie3, a plfLcs 
where heaven and earth are nearest, where God descends 
and takes up Iris abode, it is in the heart of the 111:111 who is 
penetrated through and through ,vith the S81150 of God's 
greatness, and ,vho 'Yall
s before Him in reverence and con- 
tinual ,vorship. . 
:1\ly brethren, I covet for you such á spirit. I do not al- 
"\vays find it among Catholics. I rel11emher, son1e years ago, 
\vhen collectin o ' for a charitable obiect , I calJed on a Inan who 
ü 
 
was engaged in a large business, and asked for a contriLution. 
He said, Oh yes, he thought highly of the undertaking, and 
wished to give a generous donation, say one hundred dollars. 
\Vhen I called for it at the appointed tin1e, he asked lTIe if I 
did not want any goods in his line. They were articles of 



. 


TilE SPIRIT OF S_\CRIFICE. 


45") 


luxury, such as very few persons have occasion for, and I 
toll!. hitn, no. Then he Illentioneù a, rieh gcnt1el1utn with 
WhOUl I happened to be acquainted, and asked HIe to seeurc 
for hilll his custOlll, intin1ating that this donation of one 
hundred dollars depended on IllY suéces
. N O,y I do not 
kno,v that this person ,yas at all sen::.ible of acting an un- 
worthy part, but I think.you IllUst all feel that this was very 
far from the spirit in ,vhich one ought to give any thing to 
God; and yet, my 1rethren, inferior l110tivea enter too Hluch 
and too often into our religious actions. Selfishness lllinglel 
too luuch ,vith our piety. Oh, ho,v diluted, how paltry and 
feeble is our religion, cOlllpared .with that of other tiIlles! 
David refused the site for an altar that Areuna offered lIiUJ 
as a gift, sàJ'Ïng: "
1(1Y but I will buy it (:I thee at a l)/';ce,. 
anrl 
oill11.0t o.treJ' to the LOî'd '7}Pj Goclllolocallsts f/'ee C08t.
' 
:- 
l\Iagc1alene took a ùox of spikenard ointment, because it was 
the lnost precious thing she had, and very costly, and broke 
the box, and poured it wastefully on the Saviour's head. t 
Th030 ,vho have examined the c
thedral:; of Europe that 
,vere built in the 
Iidùle .L\.ges, tell us that a"
ay up on the 
outside of the roof, there is found carving as rich, as beauti- 
ful, and 3.3 elaborate as that on the parts in full sight. A 
hunutn eye would hardly see it once a Jear; no matter: it 
was done for the eye of God and the angels. Oh that you 
had such a spirit! I 

ant JOU to think more of God. I 
want you to fear HÎ1ll lllore deeply, and to love IIilll far, far 
more fer\
ently. a my brethren, is the service you are ren- 
dering Him at . all ,vorthy of Him 
 Look at the earth and 
sky that lie has lllado; look at the glorious Throne of Light 
from which lie s'vays the univer.3e, look at the Oros3, look 
into your own hearts, and answ"er. "IToly things are for the 
Holy." "Gpcat is tlte LOî'>d, and greatly to be J)J"aiscd."t. 
" 0 Lord God A17nighty, ju.'St and true, who shall not fea1 1 


* 2 Kings xxiv. 24. 


t St. Matt. xxvi. 7. 


t Psalm xlvii. t. 



456 MARY'S DESTINY A TYPE OF OURS. 


Thee and magnify TIlY Nalne !"* "As the eyes of serv- 
ants are on tlw hands of theil' masters, and as the eyes of a 
Itandlnaid (t're on the hands of her mistress, so Oltr eyes are 

ltnto Tlwe, 0 Lord our God, Thou tll-at dwellest in the heav- 
cns."t 


. 


. 


SERMON XXV. 


MARY'S DESTINY A TYPE OF OURS. 


(TilE FEAST OF TIlE ASSUMPTION.) 


"Mary hath chosen tho best part, which shan not be taken away from 
ber."-Sr. LUKE x. 42. 


TO-DAY is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin }'Iary. 
To-day she entered into the enjoyment of heaven. The trials 
and troubles of life are over. The time of banishment is 
ended. She closes her .eyes on this world, and opens them to 
tho vision of God. She is exalted to-day above the choirs of 
angels to the heavenly kingdolll, and takes her seat at the 
right hand of h
;Son. I do not mean to attelnpt any de- 
scription of her glory in heaven. I alll sure ,vhatever I could 
say would fall far short, not only of the reality, but of Jour 
own glowing thoughts about her. Who is there that needs 
to be told that the Blessed Virgin is splendid in sanctity, 
dazzling in beauty, and exalted in power 
 But, my brethren, 
it is possible to contemplate the Blessed Virgin in such a way 
as to put her at too great a distance from us. It is possible to 
conceive of her glory in heaven as flo\ving entirely from her 
dignity as }'fother of God, and therefore to snppose it alto- 
gether unattainable by us; and, as a consequence of thi
, to 
regard her with feelings full of aruniration indeed, but almost 


· Apoc. xv. 3. 


t Psalm cxxii. 2. 



MAUY.S DESTINY A TYPE OF OURS. 457 


as deficient in sYIllpathyas if she were of another nature from 
U3. K O'V, tbis is to rob ourselves of so ennobling and encour- 
aging a part of our pri yilege as Christians, and at the sarno 
time to take away from uur devotion to the 131essed Virgin an 
element so useful and important, that I have determined, (In 
this her glorious Feast, to remind you that our destiny and 
the destiny of 1\fary are substantially the same. 
And tbe first proof I offer of this is, that tho glory of the 
Blessed Virgin in heaven is not owing to her character a!; 
Mother of God, but to her correspondence to grace-to her 
good works-to her love of God-in a ,vord, to her fidelity 
as a Christian. This is certain, for it is tho Catholic doctrine 
that the Blessed Virgin, like every other saint, gained heaven 
only as the reward of merit. Now, she could not merit it by 
becoming the Mother of God. ITer being the Mother of God 
is indeed a most august dignity, but there is no merit in it. 
It is a dignity conferred on her by the absolute decree of God, 
j list as lIo resolved to confer angelic. nature on angels, or 
human nature on men. It is no doubt a great happiness and 
glory for us to be men, and not brutes, but there is no merit 
in it; so there is honor but no lTIerit in the TIles sed Virgin's 
being the Mother of God. Now, if she did not merit heaven 
by becoming the Mother of God, how did she merit it 
 for 
it is of faith that heaven is the reward of merit. I answer, 
by her life on earth. It was not as the Mother of GoJ 
that she ,von heaven, but as Mary, the daughter of J oa- 
chim, tbe wife of Joseph, tho mother of Jesus. It i3 
impossible to read the Gospels without seeing how careful o
r 
Lord was to make us understand this. lie seems to ha \Yo 
been afraid, all along, that the splendor of that character O! 
Mother of God would eclipse the WOlnan and the saint. 
Thus once ,yhen He was preaching, a woman in the cro'wd, 
hearing his words of wisdon1, and, perhaps, piercing the vLil 
of his humanity, and thinking what a blessed thing it lnust 
be to be the mother of such a son, exclaimed: "Blessed z.
 
20 



- 


458 MARY S DESTINY A TYPE OF OURS. 


the w01nb that bare tlwe, and tl
e paps that gave tlwe sucJ
," * 
but He answered immediately: " Yea rather, blessed arc 
they WI/,0 hear the word of God and keel) it." No one doubts 
that the Blessed Virgin did hear the Word of God, and keep 
it. So our Lord's words are as much as to say: " You praise 
my mother for being my mother; what I praise her for is 
her sanctity." In the same way, when they came to IIim on · 
another oceasion, when there was a great throng about l1im 
and said, "Be/lold, tllY rnotlter and thy. bretltren stand 
'witl
old, seeking thee," lIe answered, "Who is ?ny mother? 
and WllO a1 ' e my bret/
ren ? And stretcldn,g fortlt Ids I
and 
towards his disciples, Iw said: Behold'lny ?nother and my 
úretltren. For whosoever sllall do tlte will of rny Fatlwr VJho 
is in heaven, I
e is my brother, and 8l
ster, and motlwr.t Ex- 
ternal advantages, however great, even to be related to the 
Son of God, are as nothing in his sight, compared to that in 
which all may have a part-obedience to his Father's will. 
Perhaps, also, this is 
he explanation of his language at the 
marriage of Cana in Galilee. When the wine failed, and his 
lllother came to lIim and asked IIim to exert his Divine 
l)ower to supply the want, lIe said: "Tfýnnan, u.llat llast 
tlto
t to do with 'lne? lJfy time is not yet C011W.":I: He does 
not aHow her request on the score of her maternal authority, 
but what He refuses on this ground He grants to her virtue 
and holiness, for He imn1ediately proceeds to perform the 
miracle she asked for, though, as lIe said, his time ""as not 
yet come. So, too, on the cross IIe commends the Blessed 
Virgin to St.. J obn's care, not under the high title of 1\Iothcr, 
but the lowly one of woman. " TVoman, behold thy Son."
 
Now, why was this 
 Did not our Lord love his Mother i 
Was lIe not disposed to be obedient to her as his mother î 


* St. Luke xi. 27. t St. Matt. xii. 48. 
t St. John ü. 4 (Archbishop Kenrick's translation 1. 

 St. John xix. 26. 



MAnY's DESTINY A TYPE OF OURS. 459 


Certainly; but it ,vas for our sakes lIe spoke thus. In prÏ- 
vate, at Nazareth, we are told, he was "subject to ller," ùut 
on these great public occasio:ls, when cro,vds were gathered 
arolmd ITÏ1n to hear IIÏ1n preach, when lIe bung on the 
Cross, and a world was looking on, lIe put out of view 11(11' 
luaternal grande
r, in compassion to us, lest there should be 
too great a distance between her and us, and ,,?e should lose 
the force of her example. lIe wished us to understand that 
:11ary, high as she was, was a "
oman, and in the san10 order 
of graco and providence ,vith us. W 0 might have said: 
"Oh, the Blessed Virgin obtains what she asks for on easy 
terms. She has but to ask and it is done. She enters Leaven 
as the son of a nobleman COIlles into his father's estate, ùy the 
mere title of blood and lineage." But no: our Saviour says: 
To sit on 'lny rifll
t hand is not n
ine to give Y01t, but to tltem 
for 1.()hon
 it iSjJrepareil by my Fflther."
f It is not a mattcr 
of favor and arùitrary appGinbnent; not even my Mother 
gains her glory in that way. She must comply with the 
terms on which lny Father promises heaven to men, and there 
fore t
e Church applies to ber ,vords spoken of another Mary: 
" Mary l
atl
 chosen tlw besi part,. tlwrifore 'l
t sl
all not úe 
taken awa!/
rom l
er." Oh, blessed truth ! 
Iary is one of 
us. lieI' destiny, high as it is, is a human destiny. ..L\.nd she 
reached it in a human fasbion. She built that splendid 
throne of hers in he3ven with care and labor "hile she was 
on the earth. She laid the foundation of it in her ehildhood, 
when her feet trod the Temple aisles. She reared its pillarß 
when with faith, purity, and obedience unequalled, she receiv-. 
ed the message of the archangel. And her daily life at 
Bethlehem, Egypt, and Nazareth, her holy, loving ways with 
.Joseph and with Jesus, her perfect fulfilment of God's law, 
her interior fervent acts of prayer, covere
 it with 'gold aDd 
ivory. 


. 


* St. Matt. xx. 23. 



460 MARY'S DESTINY A TYPE OF OURS. 
, 


Then, when the blind ,vor1d was going on its way of folly; 
\vhile one King Herod was deluging villages in blood, and 
another steeping his sonl in the guilt of incest, and of the 
blood of the Son of God; while the lIlultitude ,vere doubting, 
and Scribes and Pharisees disputing about Christ, the lo,vly 
Jewish maiden, with no other secret but loyc and prayer, 
was preparing for herself that bright mansion in IIeaven 
"wherein she no,v dwells, rejoicing eternal1y ,vith her Son. 
011, happy news! One, at least, of our race has perfectly 
fulfilled her destiny. Here ,ve can gain S0111e idea of ,vhat 
God created us for. 1-Iere is the destiny that a,vaits nlan 
;vhen original sin does not Inar it; ,vhen co-operation ,vith 
grace and unswerving perseverance secure it. - The Jews 
\vere proud of Judith. They said: "TIlou art tlte glory of 
Je'r'ttsalen
 j tllo
(; art tlte joy of IsÎ
ael j tlto
t a/pt tlte honor 
of our JJeople." So we may say of :1Iary: "0 Mary, thou 
art the pride of our race. In thee the design of God in our 
creation has been perfectly attained. In thee the redelIlP- 
tion of Christ has had its perfect fruit. ltlankind conceives 
ne,,' hopes from thy success." Christ, indeed, has entered 
into glory; -but Christ was God. ltlary is purely human, 
and l\Iary has succeeded. Why tarry we here in .the bondage 
of Egypt 
 1tfary has crossed the Red Sea, and has tal{en a 
timbrel in her hand 
nd sings her thanksgiving unto God. 
True it is that she is fleet of foot, and we are all halt and 
weak; but even she needed the grace of God, and the same 
grace is offered to us, that we may run and not faint. 
Listen to her song of triumph. She does not set herself 
above us, but claims kindred with us, and bids us hope 
for the saIne grace which she has received. ".1.1Iy soul 
dotlì 'lnagnify tlte Lord, for Iw I
atlì exalted tlte ltu7nblc, 
and Itatlt filled tlte hungry witl
 good tllings. .And Ids 
mercy is f1"o'ln generation to genel ' ation to then
 tllat fear 
ltÙn. " 
Another proof that the destiny of the Blessed Virgin is 



MARY"S DESTINY A TYPE OF OURS. 461 


substantial1y the same ,vith ours, is the fact that the same ex- 
pressions are used to describe her glory and ours. SOluetinles 
those ,vho are not Catholics, when they hear ,vhat high ".ords 
we l.I::;C of the Blessed Virgin, arc scandalized; but ,ve use 
almost no ,vords of the Blessed \Tirgin that may not, in their 
Ineasure, be applied to other saints. It is true that the 
. Ble:3
ed \Tirgin has some gifts and graces in ".hich she standS 
alone-as her character of ]'Iother of God, and her Immacu- 
late Conception-but, as I said before, these are dignities 
and ornaments conferred on her, and are not the source of 
her essential happiness in heaten. In other respects, her 
glory is shared by a11 the saill ts. Th us, J\Iary is caned 
"Queen of IIeaven;" but are not all the blessed called in 
IIoly Scripture, "lings and jJ7'iesis untO' God ?"* Is she 
said to sit at thc "ICing's right hand
" and arc not ",.c too 
promised a place at his right hand, and to "sit on tllTones ?,.t 
Is she called the "J\Iorning Star
" tlnù does not St. Paul, 
speaking of all the saints, say, "sta}' di.ff{}'et/
 fj'o'Jn star in 
glory ?":t: Is she called a 
'Mediatrix of Prayer
" and is it 
not said of every just man, that his "continual prayer avail- 
eth muc/
 ?"
 Is she called the" Spouse of God 
" and 
does not the Almighty, addressing every faithful soul, say, 
"lJIy love, 'Jny dove, 'Jny undefiled 1"11 Is she called the 
"Daughter of the J\Iost High
" and are not we too called 
the "Sons of God ?"'- The glory of the Blessed Virgin, 
then, differs from that of the other -saints in degree, but not 
in kind. She is not separated from them, but is one of them. 
She goes before them. She is the most perfect of them. 
But she is one of them. And for this reason, the glory of 
the Blessed Virgin gives TIS the best conception of the mag- 
nificence of our destiny. 'Vhen a botanist wishes to de- . 
scríbe a flower, he selects the most perfect specimen. When 


* Apoc. i. 6. 
S St. James v. 16. 


t Apoc. iii. 21. 
o Can. v. 2. 


t I Cor. xv. 41. 
, I St. John iii. 2. 



462 MARY'S DESTINY A TYPE OF OURS. 


an anatomist dra,vs a model of t.he human fran1e, he makes 
it faultless. So we, to gain the truest idea of our destiny, 
must lift up our eyes to the Blessed Virgin on her heavenly 
throne, and say: "Oh! mJ soul, see for what thou art cre- 
ated." Think of this, my brethren, as often as you kneel 
before her in1age, or meditate on her greatness. You cannot 
be what she is, but you can be like her. She is a creature 
like you. She is a human being like you. She is a Chris- 
tian like you. And her joy, her beauty, her glory, her 
wealth, her kno\\rledge, her power
nay, even the -mighty 
efficacy of her intercession-are only ,vhat, in their 'measure, 
God offers to you. "Glory, honor, and peace to EVERY ONE 
that worketh good j for tl
erc is no respect of lJersons with 
God." * 
If these things be so, what greatness it gives to human 
life. Perhaps, if JOu had lived in the tÏ1nes of the Blessed 
Virgin ltlary, you "\vould never have noticed her; or if you 
had known her by sight, what ,yould she have seemed to 
you but a good little Jewish girl, lo,yly and retiring in her 
manners and appearance 
 or, later in life, a poor young 
woman thrust a,vay, with her husband, frQm a crowded inn, 
or fleeing by night with an infant child 
 or, still later, the 
mother of a condemned malefactor, w'atching his sufferings in 
the crowd. Herod did not know her, and the nobles of J eru- 
salem ,vere ignorant of her. She ,vas not one of the friends of 
the queen's dancing daughters. Even the rustics of the village 
of Bethlehem looked down on her. She carried no servants 
about with her, and had no palace to live in. But Faith 
tells us of angel visits, of union with God, of heavenly good.. 
ness, and an immortal crown. So, in like manner, how our 
life becomes grand and dignified when it is lighted up by 
faith ! You know there are porcelain pictures, which in the 
hand are rough and unmeaning, but held up to the light 


* Rom. ii. 10. 




[ARY'S DESTINY A TYPE OF OUHS. 463 


reveal tbe most beautiful scenes and :figures; so our conlmon, 
ordinary life, rough and unmeaning as it often seems, \vlen 
enlightened by faith becomes all divine. There is a little 
girl who learns her lessons and obeys 1)er parents, and tells 
the truth, and shulls every tbing that is \vicked; \vhy, as 
that little girl kneels c10W'1l to pray, I see a bright angel 
dra"ing near to her, and he smiles on her and says: "IIail! 
Blessed art tltou,: tlw LOJ'(l is 1()it/
 tliCe." That )"'oung Ulan 
who, by a sincere conyersion, has thro\vn off the slavery of 
sin, and regained once more the grace of God-"what is his 
h
art but another cave of Bethlebem, in \vhich Christ is 
born, and around which angels sing: "Glory to God in tlte 
highest,. on earth, peace to 1nen of good will." That Chris- 
tian family, where daily prayers are offered, and instruction 
and good exaulple are given, and mutual fidelity is observed 
between the members-,vhat is it but the 1Ioly IIouse of 
Nazareth 
-the 1101no of J esus 
 Yes, good Christian, do 
not be cast down because you are poor, or because you suffer, 
or because your opportunities of doing good are 1Ílnited; 
Jive the life of a Christian, and you are living Mary's life on 
earth. We have not, indeed, 
Iary's perfect sinlessness, but 
we have the graces of baptism, by \
thich we may vanquish 
sin. \Ve have not, as she had, the visible presence of our 
Lord, but \ve have IIim invisibly in our hearts, and sacra- 
mentally in the Holy Communion. Weare not "full of 
grace," as she was, but ,ve have grace without linlit promised 
to us in answer to prayer. Let us assert the privileges of 
our birth-right. We belong to the new creation. Angels 
claim kindred with us. God is our Father. IIeaven is our 
home. We are the children of the saints-yes, of her \vho 
is tbe greatest of the saints. 
et us fûlIo\v her footsteps, 
that one day we may come to our Assumption, the glory of 
which surpass
d even the power of St. John to utter. 
".Dea'J'ly beloved, we are now the sons of God, and it hath 
not yet appeared 'what 'we shall be. We know that 'when He 



464 MARY'S DESTI
Y A TYPE OF OURS. 


shalt appear we shall be like Ilim, because vJe shall 8ee Him 
as He is."* 
Every thing depenùs an our co-operating with grace. How 
did the Blessed Virgin arrive at such glory 
 By correspond- 
ing to every grace. See her at her Annunciation. The 
angel comes and tells her of the grace God has prepared 
for her. If she had not believed, if she had not assented, 
what would have come of it 
 Why, she would have lost 
for all. eternity the glory attached to that grace. But she 
did not refuse. She was ready for the grace when it was 
offered. She said: "Fiat," "Be it done to 'lne accor'ding to 
thy wOì'd." Oh, how much hung on that Fiat 1 an eternal 
glory in heaven. So it is with us. There are moments in 
our lives big with the issues of onr future. God's purposes 
concerning the soul have a certain order. lIe gives one 
grace; if we correspond to that He gives another; if we do 
not correspond, we lose those that depended on it; some- 
times, even, we lose our salvation altogether. This is the 
key of your destiny-fidelity to grace. You have an inspira- 
tion from God: lIe speaks to your soul. Oh, listen to IIim, 
and obey Him! To one He says: "Abandon, 0 sinner, 
your evil life, and turn to 
Ie with all your heart." "Now is 
the accepted time, now is tlM day of salvation I" To an- 
other, who is already in His grace, lIe sends inspirations to 
a more perfect life, a life of higher prayer and more uninter- 
rupted recollection. Another, by the sweet attractions of 
His grace, He dra-\vs away from home and kindred to serve 
fIim as a Sister of Charity by the bed of suffering; or as a 
nun, to live with Him in stillness and contemplation; or as 
a priest, to win souls for heaven. Oh, speak the word that 
Mary spoke: "Be it done to me according to thy 'wu,-d." 
Are you in sin 
 Convert without delay. Are you leading 
a tepid, imperfect life 
 Gird your loins to ,vatchftùness and 


* St. John iiÎ. 2. 



CARE FOR THE DEAD. 


465 


prayer. Do you feel in yourselves a vocation to a religious 
or Eaccrdotal life? Rise up anù obey .without delay. To- 
morro,v 1nay be too late. rrhe grace Inay be forfeited for- 
ever. 'Vh
r stand .we all the day idle? IIeaven is fillinp; up. 
, Each generation sends a ne,v company to the heavenly ho
t. 
TÎ1ne is going. The great business of life renlains unac- 
complished. By our baptism we have been made children 
of God and heirs of heaven. Labor wo, therefore, to entor 
into tIIat rest. Mary, dear Mother, lift up thy yoice for us 
in beaven, that ',e, following thy footsteps, may one day 
share thy glory, and with thee praise forever God the Father. 
Son, and IIoly Ghost. Anlon. 


. 


SER
[ON XXVI. 


CARE FOR TIlE DEAD. 


(FlFI'EE
TII BilliDAY AFTER PENTECOST.) 


U And when He came nigh to the gate of tho city, behold a dead man was 
carried out.n-ST. LUKE VII. 12. 


IT is not at the gate of N aim only that such a procession 
might be 1net. From every city "dead mon are carried out 
to the grave "-nay, from every house. Death ](nocks alike 
at the palace and the cabin. It is only a question of timo 
\vith him. Sooner or later he comes to all. Yes, my breth- 
ren, a day will come to each home in this parish when a piece 
of black crape at the door will tell tbe world that death has 
been there. Within there will be stillness and sadness, and 
in some darkened chamber, ,vrapt in a winding shoet, will 
lie the cold and lifeless form of some beloved member of your 
family-a father or mother; a wife or husband; a brotber or 
sister; a son or daughter. After a Htt1e while even that will 
9 0 * 
... , 



466 


CARE FOR THE DEAD. 


be taken away from you. The titne of the funeral will come. 
The mourners will go about the streets, and the dead will be 
buried out of your sight. I do not speak of this to Inake 
you sad. On the contrary, what I am going to say wi
l, I 
kno,v, be a source, the only real source, of comfort to you in 
the loss of your friends. I wish to remind you of your dutie
 
to the dead. Christianity does not permit us to bid farewell 
forever to our departed friends. Death, it tells us, does not 
sever the bond of duty and love between us and them. We 
still have duties toward theIn, and in the performance of 
those duties, while we are doing good to the dead, we are 
procuring for ourselves the best solace. What are those 
duties 
 
First: To give back the .dead 
resignedly to God. It is not 
wrong to ,veep for the dead. It is not wrong, for we cannot 
help it. It is as impossible not to feel pain at such a separa. 
tion as it would be not to suffer when the surgeon's knife is 
cutting off an arm or a leg; and, what nature demands, God 
does not forbid. Therefore the Holy Scripture says: "lJly 
son, slwd tears over tlw dead,. and begin to lament as if tl
ou 
nad8t s1iffered som,e great harm." 
Y: Do you think that poor 
widow .of whom the Gospel speaks to-day could help weep- 
ing 
 She had known sorrow before, but then she had one 
support, a dear and only son. lie was a good plad. Every 
body knew and loved him. But now he too is gone. It is 
strange that he should go and she be left behind, but so it is: 
tbere lies bis body on the bier, and she is follo,ving him to 
the grave. See her as she goes along in her coarse black 
dress, bent with age and sorrow. Can you blame her for 
weeping, as she looks, for the last time, on that dear form 
 
At least, Jesus did not blame her. He looked at bel', and 
He sOlTowed with her. He was moved ,vith compassion. 
It is not wrong, then, to weep for the dead, but we must 


* Eccles. xxxviii. ] 6. 



CARE FOR THE DEAD. 


-167 


n10derate our grief, banish every rebellious thought froln our 
heart, and Juingle resignation '\9ith our sorro\v. The Office 
,vhich the Church sings oyer the dead is made up in great 
part of joyful psahlls and anthen1s. ....t\.fter thi;:; pattern ought 
to be tbe sorro\v of a Christian family, a sorro\v tbat is not 
,
iolent and noisy, a sorrow that does not pass the bounds of 
decency, a sorro\v, I may say, mingled with joy. IIow dif. 
ferent it is in some families ! You come near a house anù 
Jon hear shrieks the Inost appalling. You go in and find a 
woman abandoning herself to the most noisy and violent 
grief. 1-Ier language is little sbort of LlasphenlY. She re- 
fuses any comfoI
t. She is weeping over a dead husband. 
Perhaps in life she loved hin1 none too well. Perhaps she 
made his life bitter enough to him, and often prayed that 
sonle harn1 might happen to him, .and that she might see 
him dead. And now she does see him dead. She will never 
curse hÍ1n again, and be willneyer anger her again. lIe is 
dead; and no,v she breaks out into the most frantic grief, 
and alarms the neighborbood. She cries; she calls upon 
God; she throws herself on the corpse. At the funeral LeI' 
conduct is still more "Tild and disordered. Kow, ,,,hat is aU 
tbis? I will not say it is hypocritical, but I say it is brutish. 
It is not to act as a reasonable being, much less as a Chri5. 
tian. This is the ,yay with some ,vomen. The only time 
they ever show any love to their husbands is when they are 
dead. Let them be: such grief will not last long. Wait 
awhile; before bel' husband's body has well got cold in the 
ground she 'will be looking around for another match. 
Do not imitate such unchristian conduct. When Death 
enters your bouse, do not forget that you are a Christian. 
Do not incl1dge your grief. Call to your aid the principles 
of your faith. Yon are sad and lonely. Well, is it not bet 
tel' to feel that this life is a state of exile 
 You have lost 
your protector. And has not God promised to protect the; 
orphan 
 Yon have lost such a good friend, such a bright 



468 


CARE FOR THE DEAD. 


example. 'V ell, ought you not, then, to rejoice at his safe 
departure 
 The early Ohristians used to carry flowers to the 
graye, and sing hymns of joy because the toils of a Christian 
warrior were ended, and he had entered into rest. Ileal' 
what the Ohurch sings: "Blessed are the dead'lvllo die in the 
Lord." Will you weep because one you love is taken a,,"'ay 
from sin, from temptation, from the trouble to come 
 'Vill 
you grieve because he has secured for himself the Blissful 
and Eternal Vision of God 
 But you have no confidence 
that he 'was good, that he did die in the grace of God. Sup- 
pose you are uncertain on that point, is there any thing bet- 
ter than to go with your doubts and fears òefore the IIoly 
God, and while you offer to Him your trembling prayers for 
the departed, to adore IIis Providence and say: "The Lord 
gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the Name 
of the Lord."* Dry up your tears, then, 0 òereaved Chris_ 
tian. "J\Iake mourning for the dead for {1 day or two,"t 
says the IIoly Scripture. That is, do not abandon yourself 
to grief. Do not think, because your friend is gone, that 
God is gone, and Ohrist is gone, and duty gone. Do not call 
on others more than is necessary. Resume your ordinary 
duties as soon as possible-and in these duties you. will find 
the relief ,vhich God Himself has provided for our sadness, 
and His Gracê will accompany you in the performanée of 
them.' · 
Another duty to the dead is to perform scrupulously, as 
far as possible, their last directions. When the patriarch 
Jacob was dying, he called his son Joseph to his side, and 
said to him: "Tholt shalt show me tlds kindness and truth, 
not to bury me in Egypt, but I will sleep wl:th 'Iny fathers., 
and tl
ou shålt take me away out of this land, and bury 
me in the burying-place of my ancestol ' s.":t: It ,vas not 
of itself a very important request; it was, moreover, an 


* Job i. 27. 


t Ecc. xxxviii. 18. 


t Gen. xlvii. 30. 



CARE FOR THE DEAD. 


469 


inconvenient one. Yet see how prolnptly and carefully 
It was cou1pliecl ,vitho As soon as the days of mourning 
for Jacob were ended, Joseph went to Pharao and said: 
"Ny fatlwr made me swear' to lti6a, saying, Tliolt sltalt 
bury 1ne 1 0 n 'lny sepulchre 'lchich I have digged fo}" 'l11,yself 
in the land of Oanåan. So I 'will go and bUJ'Y 'lny 
father and 'l'etll'pn. And Pllarao said to hÙn, Go 'lip and 
bury thy fatlwr'. And tltey bUl'iul ldrn in the land of 
Oanaan, in the douùle cave wldclb ..Llb}'aha1J
 bought fo}' a 
burying-pla('e."* Would that the same piety were always seen 
among us ! .J..\. mother dies: the last wishes that she expresses 
to her children are that they should be true to their holy 
faith and earnest in seeking the salvation of their souls, and 
she sends a message to an absent son, ,vhich will not reach 
him in his distant home till long after she is gone, begging 
him to be faithful and regular in his duties as a Christian. 
A father dies, and tells his son of a debt, strictly due in jus- 
tice, but of which there is no record, and 'where he will find 
the money to pay it. A poor girl dies, and confides to SOllle 
one, whom she thinks her friend, the little earnings of her 
hard labor, asking that it may be sent to her old lllother in 
Ireland. Are these wishes executed 
 Are these children 
faithful Catholics 
 Is that boy, the object of a mother's 
dying tears and prayers, regular at the sacraments? lIas that 
debt been paid? Did the sad news of the daughter's death 
go out to the poor mother in the old country, softened 'with 
the evidence of that daughter's piety and lo\"'e? or was the 
money retained anù squandered? "'\Vhat! are you not afraid 
to add to the sin of irreligion and injustice the crÏ1ne of 
breaking faith with the dead? I-Iear wbat God says in the 
Holy Scripture: " T/
e voice of thy bJ'other's blood cr'ieth to 
3Ie fr01n tlw earth."t The dead have got a voice, then-a 
voice that cries to God, that cries for vengeance against those 


* Gen. 1. 4, 5, 13 


t Gen. iv. 10. 



470 


CARE FOR THE DEAD. 


who injure them. Pay, then, thy debts to the dead. Redeem 
the promise thou hast made to the dying. Fulfil thy duties 
as an executor or administrator with fidelity and justice. Be 
exact. It is a dead man thou art dealing ,vith. Do not say, 
he is dead and cannot speak. Hear what the La,v of God 
saith: "Tl
ou shalt not speak evil of the deaf, n07
 put a 
sturnbling block before the blind: but tholt sl
alt fear ,the 
Lord tllY God, because I a1n tlw Lord."* Do you under- 
stand? God hears for those "WTho cannot hear, He speaks for 
those 'v ho cannot speak; and if thou makest the dead thy 
enemy, thou hast the Living and Eternal God for a Foe. 
Another part of our duty to the dead is to treat their 
bodies ,vith respect, and to give them decent burial. We 
do this for two reasons: for what they have beeñ, and what 
they are to be. Their bodies have been the casket which 
held their 
ouls, and we love their bodies for what their 
souls have been to God and to us. We love the eye that 
looked upon us with affection, the nlouth that spoke to us 
words of truth and kindness, we love the ear that listened 
to our sorrows, and the hand that soothed and blessed us. 
We love that body ,vhich ,yas the soul's instrument here in 
her ,yorks of piety and Christian charity. And w'e love 
that body for what it shall Le. We see it as it wi
l be when 
it springs from the grave on the n10rning of the Resurrec- 
tion, sparkling with light, beautiful and immortal. And 
this is why we follow the dead to the gra
e. . We go with 
them as we go part of the way hOl11e ,yith a cherished guest. 
We go with them in token that the love that united us is 
not severed by death, but that we are still joined to them in 
hope and charity. Oh yes, it is right. Let the body be laid 
out decently; the limbs composed; the eyes closed for their 
long sleep. And when the time of burial comes, let all the 
ceremonies of the Holy Church lend their aid. "\Valk slow; 


* Levit. xix. 14. 



CARE FOR THE DEAD. 


471 


let the priest in surplice and stole go before; light the can- 
<lIes and hold the cross aloft; sing the sweet and solen1n 
chant; carry the body to the church and lay it before tbe 
A.ltar of God; bring incense and holy water, and let there 
be IIigh l\Iass for tbe repose of the soul. Fitting ceremo- 
nies! "Beautiful and touching rites! chosen with a heavenly 
still to comfort the mourner and to honor the dead. But 
alas! alas! how do we see this duty to the dead sometinles 
fulfilled! A Catholic is dead. It is true there are candles 
and holy water, but ",
bere arc the pious prayers 
 The 
neighbors are gathered together, but it is not to pray. The 
glasses and tbe pipes speak of a different kind of meeting. 
Yes, they have COlne there, there to that cbalnber, tbe Court 
of Death and the Threshold of' Eternity, to hold a drunkc11 
wake. The night wears on with stories, sometimes cycn ob- 
scenc and filthy, and as liquor does its work, curses and blas- 
phemies mingle with the noisy, senseless cries and yel1s of 
drunl
en men. Are these orgies meant to insult the dead 
 
Do these revellers ",
i::;h to make us believe tbat their dc- 
parted friend was, body and soul, the child of nen as much 
as they 
 So the wake is kept, and now for the funeral. 
The luan.died early in the week, but of cours
 he must be 
buried on Sunday. Sunday is the worst day of the week for 
a funeral, because it is the day appointed for the public wor- 
ship of God, and it is wrong to draw men away from the 
church on that day without necessity, yet a funeral must by 
all means be on a Sunday. And wby 
 Because a greater 
crowd can be got together on that day, and the object is to 
have a crowd, and to make people say, such a one had a de- 
cent funeral. The family are poor, nevertheless a large 
Lumber of carriages are hired, and filled with a set of people 
who regard the whole thing as a picnic or excursion. Some 
of theln have already" taken a drop," and so little sense of 
religion have they left, that sometimes at the grave itself, 
sometimes in returning from it, they raise brawls and riots 


- 



472 


CARE FOR THE DEAD. 


that bring disgrace and contempt at once on the man they 
have buried and the faith they profess. Do you call this a 
decent funeral?" I say it is a sin. A sin of pride and 
ostentation. A sin of scandal and excess. A sin of robbery 
and cruelty-of robbery and cruelty to,vard the poor chil- 
dren from ,"\hose hungry mouths and naked backs are taken 
the extravagant expenses of this ambitious display. llow 
much better to have a small funeral! a funeral remarkable 
for nothing but its modesty and simplicity, to which only 
the few are called who knew the dead and loved him, ,vho 
follo,v him to his long home with serious thoughts, like 
thinking men and Chrjstians, remembering that before long 
they must go with llim into the grave and lie down beside 
hin1, and who return home to remembe.r his soul before God 
as often as they kneel down to pray. 
And this brings me, in the last place, to speak of the duty 
of praying for the dead. It is a most consoling privilege of 
our holy faith. Death indeed fixes our eternal condition 
irrevocably. "If the tree fall to tlte south or to tlw north, 
'l
n what lJlace soever it shall fall, the'pe shall it be."* But 
the good do not always enter heaven immediately. If the 
sharp process by which God purifies lfis children on earth bas 
not wrought its fun effect, it must be carried on for a while 
longer in that hidden receptacle in which faithful souls await 
their summons to the presence of God. And during this 
period our prayers in their behalf are of great avail. No 
part of our religion has more undeniable proofs of its an- 
tiquity. As far back as the fourth century of the Christian 
era, St. Cyril testifies that it was the custom "to pray for 
those ,vho had departed this life, believing it to be a great 
assistance to those souls for ,vhom prayers are offered while 
the Holy. and Tremendous Sacrifice is going on."t The 
tombstones of the early Christians attest the same practice, 


* Eccles. xi. 3. 


t St. CYrIl, Cat., lect. v., D. 9. 


# 



CARE FOR THE DEAD. 


473 


and St. Augustine, speaking not as a doctor, but recording 
3. chapter of his own history, lets us into the innenDost feel- 
ings of the Church of his day on this subject. In his Con- 
fessions he tens us that his luother St. Monica, shortly before 
her death, looked at him and said: "Lay this body an
y- 
,vhere, be not concerned about that, only I beg of you, that 
,vheresoever JOU be, you make remembrance of me at the 
Lord's Altar." .l\.nd the saint goes on to tell how he ful- 
filled this request, how after her death the "Sacrifice of' our 
Ransom" was offered for her, and how fervently he continued 
to pray for her. But his own words arc best: "Though my 
Inother liveù in such a manner that Thy Name is luuch 
praised in her faith and manners, yet * * * I entreat 
Thee, 0 God of my heart, for her sins. Ileal' rne, I beseech 
Thee, through tlHtt cure of our wounds that hung upon the 
Tree, and that sitting no\v at Thy Right IIand maketh in- 
tercession for us. I know that she did mercifully, and from 
her heart forgave to her debtors their trespasses; do Thou 
likewise forgive to her her debts, if she hath also contracted 
any in those many years she lived after the saving water. 
Forgive them, 0 Lord, forgive them. 
f 
f * Let no one 
separate her from Thy protection. Let not the lion and the 
dragon either by force or fraud interpose himself. Let her 
rest in pe
ce, together with her husband; and do Thou in- 
spire Thy servants that as many as shall read this may rc- 
member at Thy Altar Thy handmaid Monica, ,vith Patricius 
her husband."* Are we as faithful to pray for our departed 
friends, and to get prayers said for them 
 They wait the 
time of their deliverance with painful longing. They can- 
not hasten it themselves. They cannot merit. Their hands 
are tied. They are at our mercy. The Church indeed prays 
for these in her litanies, her offices, and her Masses, Lut how 
little do we, their friends and relations, pray for them. The 


* St. Augustine's, Confessions, book ix., c. 13. 



474 


CARE FOR THE DEAD. 


patriarch Joseph, when he foretold to Pharao's butler, his 
fello\v prisoner, his speedy restoration to honor, said to him: 
" Only Ipe1ne1nber 'lne when it shall be well with tllee, and do 
7)
e this kindness to lJut Pllarao in rnind to take me out of 
this prison."p'k But the butler, when things prospered with 
him, forgot his friend. So we forget our friends in the 
prison of Purgatory. They linger looking for help from us, 
and it comes not. Oh, pray for the dead. Death does not 
sever them from hope, from prayer, or from the power of 
Christ. Did not Martha say to our Lord in reference to her 
brother Lazarus, who was already dead: "I know tllat even 
NOW wh,atsoever thou wilt ask of God (in his behalf) He 
will give it thee 1"* Yes, Christ's }'Iercy and Christ's 
Bounty reach even to the regions of the shadow of death. 
Christ has in His hands gifts even for the dead-gifts of 
Consolation, of Refreshment, of Quiet, and of Rest. Ask 
those gifts for those you love. With the widow of N aim 
carry your dead to the Saviour, let your tears and prayers in 
their behalf meet IIis Compassionate Ear and Eye, and He 
will speak to the dead: " Young man, I say to thee Arise." 
And the dead shall hear His voice, and shall rise up, not yet 
to the Resurrection of the Body, not yet to be "delivered to 
l1Ïs 1.1:aster," but to the company of the Angels, to t4e spirits 
of the Just, to the home of God, 
here they shall be " before 
tlte Th'J'one of God, and serve Him day and nigllt in Eil: 
Temple, and He that sitteth on the Throne sn,all dwell over 
them. And they shall not Ilungel ' nor thirst any more; 
neither sllall tIle sun fall on then
, nor any heat.":I: 
I have endeavored to-day, my brethren, to speak for the 
dead. They cannot speak for themselves, but they live, and 
feel, and think. And sÜre I am that, if they could speak, 
their words would not be in substance very different froln 
what I have spoken. They "\vould say: "I want no costly I 
'" 


* Gen. xl. 14. 


t St. John xi. 22. 


* Âpoc. vii. 15, 16. 



SUCCESS TilE REWARD OF MERIT. 


475 


monument. I want no splcnùid funeral. Still less do I wish. 
that God should be offended on nlyaccount. I ask a l
e- 
membrance mingled ,vith affection and resignation, the rites 
of the IIoly Church, a quiet grave, and now and then a fer- 
vent, earnest prn,yer. And I ,viII not forget 
you in my prison 
of hope. I will pray for you, and 01! ,vhcn the morning 
comes, and my happy soul is caned to Heaven, my first in- 
tercession at the throne of God shall be for you, ,vhom I loved 
so well in life, and who hast not left off thy kindness to the 
dead. 


.. 


SERlION XXVJ.T. 


SUCCESS TIlE REW.ARD OF 
IERIT. 


(FIFl'EESTll 6UKDAY AFTEr. PE
TEC06T.) 


UWhat things a man shall sow, them also shall he reap."-GAL. VI. 8. 


To judge by the complaints ,vhich we hear continually 
around .us, "
e n1Ïght conclude that the commonest thing in 
the world is for men to fail in their undertakings. N o,v, I 
admit that it is a very common thing indeed for 1ncn to fail 
in obtaining what they desire. There are n1any men who 
have some darling object of all1bition ,vhich they cannot 
reach. But I do not think it is a very frequent thing for 
men to fail in attaining an end ,vhich they steadily aÍ1n at, 
and .which they take the proper means to attain. I believe 
the rule is the other way. I believe success is the ordinary 
result of ,veIl-directed endeavor. I kno,v indeed that the 
IIoly Scriptures tell us that "jhe race is not to tne swift, nor 
the battle to tAe strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to tILe 
learned, nor favor to tlw skilful: but time and chance is all.'
* 


* Eccles. ix. 11. 



47G 


SUCCESS TilE REWARD OF MERIT. 


But surely aU that this Ineans is that the providence of God, 
for its o,vn purposes, sometimes interferes to tlnv.art the best- 
concerted nleasures, and to cro\vn feeble atternpts ,vith un- 
expected success. The race is not always to the s,vift, but 
ordinarily it is. The battle is not always to the strong, but 
'when it is not, it is an exception to the rule. Thé r
le is, 
that success comlIlonly attends the elnploYlnent of proper 
and judicious lneans. The experience of life proves that 
this is true. Let us look around and see if it is not so. 
We "will look first at the Lusiness ,vorld. IIere at first 
sight a succession of the 1110st surprising changes n1eets our 
eye. Men that ,vere rich a fe\v years ago are no\v poqr. 
:Men that then \vere poor are now rich. The servant and 
his Inaster have changed places. If you return to the city 
after a. few years' absence you "Till find the saIne handsoI11e 
houses lining our avenues, but the occupants of many of 
then1 will be changed. The same.. gay carriages roll along 
the street, but there is al,vays a new set of people riding 
in theIn, and they that used to ride now go afoot. What 
wonder is it that Inen have imagined Fort.une to be blind- 
fold, and tbe ups and downs of life the chance revolutions 
of her ,vheel 
 But ,vhen we look closer, we see this is not 
the case. For the IllOSt part each fall and each success has 
Lad an adequate hist
ry. There has been a rigid bond of 
cause and effect. It is only a Inetaphor when we say that 
riches have wings. Gold and silver, and real estate, and 
Illost kinds of personal property, are solid and substantia], 
and do not melt a\vay in a night. So, on the other hand, 
fortuncs are not made by accident. The rich man becoIT1es 
rich by aiming at it and striving for it. lIe does not need 
any extraordinary genius perhaps, but he bends his talents, 
such as thCJT arc, to the task. He rises ead y, he is constan t- 
ly at his place of bnsiness, he keeps himself informed of 
all its details, he thinks about it. vVhen a favorable open- 
ing comes, he takes advantage of it. 'Vhen a reverse comes, 



SUCCESS TilE HE\V.ARD OF MERIT. 


477 


he is not discouraged by it. Other luen would be discour- 
aged, but he is not. Perhaps he is in n1Îddle life, perhaps 
he has a gro"ing family, but he looks out for a fresh field 
of enterprise, anù Lcgins anew to battle ,vitb the world, and 
he becomes rich again. His success is o,,-ing in part, if 
you "rill, to favorable. circumstances, but largely to his o"n 
energy and industry. These ".ere the conditions, ,vithont 
".hich no alnount of luere e:\..ternal advantages ".ould have 
insured success. 
Again, if ,ve look to the world of Literature and Art, 
,ve find the same thing. Disappointed authors and artists 
often talk as if they ,vere the victims of the ,vor1d's stupid- 
ity or malice; as if lnen were unable or unwilling to appre- 
ciate theine K O'V, I kno,v it is said that such things Lave 
been. There have been filen of rare promise. but of a sen- 
sitiv'e nãturc, ,vho have been crushed by coldness and neg- 
lect, or by the hard and unfair criticism ,vith ".hich their 
first attempts were Inet. TIut tbis is far frorll being a com. 
n10n thing. The ,vorld likes to be arnuscd and pleased. It 
is really interested in baving sOlnething to praise. This 
being so, ho,v is it pO,ssible for a man of real merit to relnain 
long unrecognized? Who can imagine tbat the great 
masterpieces of painting, or the great poelns that have 
come down to us from the past, could bave failed to excite 
the adlniration of men 
 In fact,luunan judgment,. ,vhen 
yon take its suffrages over wide tracts and through the 
lapse of ages, is aU but infallible. In a particular place 
it may be warped by passion; in a particular tilne it ll1ay 
confonn to an artificial standard; but give it titue and rOOIn, 
and it is sure with unerring accuracy to detect the beautiful 
and true. It is as far as possible, then, from being the case 
that celebrated authors or celebrated artists have become 
great by accident. There 
ay have been favorable circum- 
stances. There were undoubtedly great gifts of nature; but 
there was also deep study .and painful, persevering toiL I 



478 


SUCCESS THE REWARD OF :MERIT. 


have been told that the manuscrip,ts of a distinguished Eng 
lish poet show so many erasures that hardly a line remains 
unaltered.. The great cathedrals of Europe were the fruit 
of life-long labor. And these are but instances of a gep 
eral rule. When we go into the workshops in \vhich some 
of the beautiful articles of n1erchandise are rnanufactured, . 
we see a great fire and hear the clank of Jnachinery, and 
men are hurrying to and fro, stained with dust and s,veat. 
Now, something like this has been going on to gÏ\Te birth 
to these beautiful creations in Letters and Arts which have 
delighted the world. There has been a great fire in the fur- 
nace of the brain, and each faculty of the mind has toiled 
to do its part, and there have been many blo\vs with the pen, 
the pencil, or the chisel, until the beautiful conception is 
complete. Such men were successful because they deserved 
it. The approbation of the world did 110t create tþeir suc- 
cess, it only recognized it. 
I will take one Inore exalnple of the rule I aln illustrat- 
ing-personal character, reputation. I believe, as a general 
rule, it is pretty nearly what we deserve. We reap 'what we 
SO\v. People 'hink of us pretty lTIuch as we really are. I 
am not unmindful of the occasional success of hypocrites, 
nor of the instances, happily not very frequent, of innocent 
persons overwhelmed by a load of unjust 
ccusation and cal- 
umny. Again, I know that when people are angry with us 
they sOl!letimes say spiteful things which they do not mean, 
and when they wish to flatter us they say things Inore COlTI- 
plimentary, but just as false. But notwithstanding all this, I 
affirm that the judgnlents which people who kno\v us form 
of us are very nearly correct. Indeed it must be so, for \ve 
cannót disguise ourselves altogether, or for a long time. We 
cannot always wear a Inask. An ignorant, ill-bred man may 
go to a tailor's and dress hinlself out in fashionable clothes:, 
but the first word he speaks, and the first movemént he 
makes will betray his want of education. So, while we are 



SUCCESS THE REWARD OF MERIT. 


470 


, 


tr)Ting to pass ourselves off for something else than ,vhat we 
are, to a keen observer our habitual thoughts and character 
will pierce through and discover our true selves. Even what 
0111' enemies say about us, ,vhe11 they say "That they think, 
1S very likely to be truc. Yen have no need to invent bad 

 things abo"ut us. We have all got faults enough. They 
have only to seize these, exaggerate theln a little, caricature 
them, separate them from 'what is good in us, and they wi!] 
Inake a picture bad enough, but not too bad to be recognized 
as ours. Their description of us is like a photographic like- 
ness. It takes away the bloom from the chcel{, and the 
brightness from the eye, and the rich tints from the hair. It 
notes down each imperfection, each frO"wn 3nd wrinkle and 
crookedness of feature, and there it is, a hard, severe, but 
not an untrue likeness. In fact, my brethren, one of the 
last things I would advise any man to attempt ,vould be to 
try to seem something he is 110t. He is almost sure to be 
unsuccessful. There is a la,v in the ,vorld too strong for him 
-the law of justice and truth, the la,v that binds together 
actions and their consequences, the la" that attaches honor 
to what is good and right, and contempt to 'what is base and 
false. 
Thus we see on eyery side illustrations of the rule that our 
success is in proportion to our merit. We so,v what we 
reap. Much more is this true in regard to religion. Y ou 
have observed that hitherto I have been obliged to make 
some qualifications, to make some exceptions in each of the 
instances I have brought forward. God may prevent our 
becoming rich, ho,vever legitimately we may labor for it, 
because lIe sees that riches would not be good for us. Or 
He may allow our talents to remain unappreciated, and our 
name to be covered with obloquy, in order to drive us to seek 
His Eternal Praise. But in religion our labors are sure to 
meet with success. There is absolutely no exception. Our 
success will be infallibly in proportion to our endeavors, 



480 


SUCCESS THE RE'V ARD OF ltIERIT. 


neither more 01'" less. You know, my brethren, that a doc.. 
trine may be familiar to u
, but may not always make the 
same impression ,)n us. We may hear it many tÏIues and 
assent to it, but 011 some special occasion, it may enter our 
mind with such fOlce, take such a lively hold of our imagina- 
tion and heart that it seems new to us. This is what ,ve call 
cO'lning n01ìze to us. Now, I remember an occasion ,vhen the 
doctrine I have just stated thus came home to nle. It was 
on hearing the words of St. Alphonsus: "With that degree 
of love to God that we possess ,vhen ,ye leave this ,,"'orld, and 
no more, will we pass our eternity." Any thing more start- 
ling and awakening I do not remember ever to have heard. 
Not the thought of the pains of hell, or the horrors of sin, 
or the bliss of paradjse, ever seemed to me so loud a call for 
action. All of heaven that we shall ever see, we acquire 
here. Perhaps you too, my brethren, have not realized this 
sufficiently. The truth is, I think many men act in regard 
to religion as children and ,veak-minded persons do in regard 
to the things of this world-they build" castles in the air." 
This is a very favorite occupation with some people. They 
spend hours and even days in it. It is a cheap alnusement, 
and they who follow it do not usually stint themselves in 
the warmth and color of their pictures. The only difficulty 
is, to fix a limit to their imaginary splendors. They nnagine 
themselves very rich, worth, say fifty thousand, or a hundred 
thousand, or five hundred thousand dollars, with beautiful 
houses and furniture, and all the elegancies of life. Or they 
imagine themselves very famous, with a reputation as ,vide 
as the world, and admiring crow.ds shouting their praises 
wherever they go. Now sOlnething like this, Bqually silly 
and unsubstantial, passes in the minds of many Christians in 
regard to their hereafter. They ilnagine that, somehow, 
one of these days, they will find themselves caught up to the 
third heaven, borne by angels to the throne of God, crowned 
with a jewelled crown, seated on a golden throne, with palms 



SUCCESS THE RE'V ARD OF MERIT. 


481 


in their hands, to sing forever the song of the redeemed. 
They Il1ay be no,v in mortal sin, they may be in the habit of 
mortal sin; they may be the slaves of passion, drunkards, 
Í1npure, dishonest; they may be unwilling to renounce the 
dangerous occasions of sin; or they may not be so bad a8 
this: they may belong to that class who have their periodic 
spells of sin and devotion, and are saints or sinner:; according 
to the tÏ111e of the year you take them; or they may belong 
to a still Inilder type of ungodliness, those ,vho are negligent 
and cold-hearted, ,vith a host of ""cnial sins aùout them, anJ 
at intervals, now and then, a mortal sin-no matter: some- 
how or other, by some kind of a contrivance, all-the re- 
lapsed sinner and tlle habitual sinner, the drunkard, the im- 
pure, the dishonest and the 11rofane, the worldly and tepid, 
the prayerless and presumptuous-all are going to heaven. 
o miserable del usion ! Does the Bible teach us this? 
\Vhen it speaks of a "way" to heaven, does it not mean 
that all must walk in that "Tay to I"cach there 
 When it 
tells us that" the Judge standeth at the door," does it not 
mean, to judge us by our actions! Which of the saints was 
ever w.afted to heaven in this passive way 
 Ah! the apostle 
tells us, " they ,vere valiant in fight," they fought with the 
wild beasts of their passions, and put to flight the armies of 
hell. No: it is an enemy that hath so,vn anlong you this Cal- 
vinistic poison-yes, this worse than Calvinistic poison, for 
the Calvinists did but assert that a few clect "ere saved by a 
foregone decree, while thi
 practically extends it to every 
one. Do not .believe it. " TVltat a 'lnan sowetlb tAat sltalllte 
reap." "He that soweth to the fles7b shall of the flesh reap 
corruption, and, he that soweth to th_e Spirit sltall of tlte 
Spirit reap life everlasting." * Our days are like a weaver's 
shuttle, and, as they quickly come and go, they "Teave the 
web of our destiny. Each step we take is a step in one of 


* Gal. vi. 8. 


21 



48'2 


SUCCESS THE REWARD OF MERIT. 


the two paths that fill up the whole field of human proba- 
tion. Ask the Psalmist who of us shall see heaven, and he 
,vill answer you, " Lord, who shall dwell in Thy tabernacle, 
01
 who shall Test on Thy holy hill? lw tl
at has clean hands 
and a pure neart."* Ask the Gospel, Who is that servant 
whom his Lord at His coming will appro v e 
 and it answers: 
" Even he whose loins are gi'ì't abo
tt, and w/tose lig!tts are 
burning, as a man that waits for his Lord."t Would you 
know who, at the end of the ,vorld, shall reap a rich har- 
vest 
 "They that sow in tears "-in the holy tears of com- 
punction, of the love of God, and of the desire of heaven- 
"sllall 7'eap in joy. .And he tltat now goeth on lli8 way 
weeping and bearing good seed, shall come again 
oìth joy, 
and b'ì'ing !tis sheaves witlb him..":f: 
Let us pause a moment before ","'e conclude to try our- 
selves by this doctrine. "All the rivers run into the sea;" 
so all our lives are carrying us on to eternity. Should our 
lives be cut off at this moment, of what kind of texture 
would they be found 
 "In t!tose days," saJs the prophet, 
" Israel shall corlw,. tlwy shall 'inake h,a8te and seek the Lo'/'d 
their God. They sltall ask the 'way to Sion, their- faces 
thitherward. "
 
Are our faces, my brethren, turned toward the heavenly 
city
 .Are we hastening thither, acknowledging ourselves 
strangers and pilgrims on the earth 
 These careless con- 
fessions, these heartless prayers, these darling sins, these aim- 
less lives, this tepidity, this indifference and procrastination 
in spiritual things, what do they indicate 
 We look at the 
sky to judge of the weather. We read the newspapers to 
find out the condition of the country. We watch our symp- 
toms to ascertain the state of our health. Ah! there are in- 
dications far more important, to which we ought to take 


* Fs. xiv. 1; xxiiL 4. 

 Ps. cxxv. 5, 6, 7. 


t St. Luke xii. 35, B6. 

 Jer. i. 4, 5. 



SUCCESS TIlE REWARD OF :MERIT. 


48.Q 


heed. Indications of salvation or reprobation, syn1ptoms of 
spiritual health or decay, e
n'nests of heaven or hell, marks 
of Christ or Satan. You relnember the story of the old 
monk who was obseryed to weep as he sat ,yatching the peo- 
ple going into church, and, being asked the reason, said he 
saw a man enter, followed by a black demon, who seemed to 
claim him as his own. So, if ".e could look into the spiritua1 
"yorld, we should see some men attendeà by angels ,-rho have 
come to" minister to them as heirs of salvation," while others 
are surrounded by evil spirits, "come to torment tllCrn before 
their tÏ1ne." Yes, eternity does not wait for the last day. 
It presses upon us now and here. Each day is a Judgment 
Day. Each evening, as it falls, finds us gathered at Christ's 
right hand, driven to His left,. or wavering between the 
two. Why do ".e not take our place at once, "here ,ye 
shall wish to ùe found at our Saviour's coming.. 
 It is not 
very long since death took from among us a convert to our 
110ly faith,{
 "hose life had been rich in good works, ,,,ho 
had been a mother to the orphan, and a sister tc) the outcast 
and abandoned; and a priest, ,vho visited her o
 her last ill- 
ness, told me that he had said to her: "If God "yere no,v to 
raise you up and restore you to health, I WOU1ù. not know 
how to give. you any other ad vice, than to resume your good 
works at that point ,vhere sickness compelled you to leave 
them off." Beautiful testimony to a holy life! Cut the 
thread wherever you "ill, it is all gold. Stop the Christian 
where you win, he is on his way to heaven. Be such a life 
ours. I have said each day is a Judgment Day: let each 
day merit the approval of Christ. Let our life be a constant 
preparation for Eternity, remembering that the only heaven 
the Christian religion offers us, is a heaven that is won by 
our labors here. 


* !Irs. Geo. Ripley. 



... 


484 THE MASS TIlE HIGHEST 'YORSHIP. 


SER
fO:N XXVIII. 


THE MASS THE HIGHEST 1YORSIIIP. 


(Twr;
TY-FIRST SU
D..\Y AFTER PE
TEC06T.) 


U What shall I offer to the LorJ that is worthy '7 Wherewith shall I kneel 
before the High ODd ?"-l\IICII. Yr. 6. 


SUCH is the question ,vhich lnankind bave been asking from 
tbe creation of the ,vorld. God is so high, so great, so good, 
so beaut
ful. lie Inade us. lIe created us by His 'V ord, and 
we hang upon IIis Breath. How shall "'"e worship Him 
 
How shall ,ve express the thoughts of Him thåt fill Oill
 souls 
 
Alas! tbe ,,'"ords of the lips, the postures of the body, are all 
inadequate. What shall we do 
 Shall we, like Cain, gather 
the fairest fruits and flowers, and bring the basket before the 
Lord? Or, like Abel, shall we take the firstlings of our 
flocks, and slay them in Iris honor 
 Shall we dress an altar, 
and pile upon it the smoking victims 
 Shall "''"e make our 
children pass through the fire in His N ame 
 Or, like the 
Indian devotee, shall ,ve throw ourselves under the wheels of 
the car that carries the image of the Divinity 
 Such have 
been the ways in which men have tried to express their devo- 
tion to God, but all have been either insufficient or vain. 
l\Ian's thoughts about God have found no fitting expression. 
A fire has burned in his heart which no words can utter. 
Now here, as in so many other ways, Christianity comes to 
our aid, and places within our reach a perfect and all-sufficient 
mode of expressing our devotion, a perfect worship. Do you 
ask me to what I allude 
 I answer, to the Sacrifice of the 
Mass. 
"Let me remind you what the Sacrifice of the Mass is. . We 
Catholics believe that in the J\fass Jesus Christ offers His real 
Body and Blood, under the species of bread and wine, to 



THE 
L\.SS TilE HIGHEST 'VORSHIP. 48q 


His Eternal Father, in reUleD1 brance of IIis Death on the 
Cross. Our Lord's Death on the Cross was in itself conl- 
plete, and aU-sufficient for the purpose for which it 'Y3S un- 
dergone, and need not, indeed could not, be repeated; but 
His Priestly Office ,vas not exhausted by that offering. In 
the language of Scripture: "IIe ever li-oetl" to 'lnake inte1'ccs- 
,çion for 'liS."-::'- And, "He is a PJ'U:8t f01'cm?]'o."t ..In what, 
then, does our Lord's Priesthood since His Crucifixion con- 
sist 
 In hea-ven, it consists in presenting Himself to IIi::; 
Father directly and imD1ediately, to plead the merits of Ilis 
Death and Passion in our behalf; but on earth it consists in 
representing tbat Death and Passion in the Inystical action 
which "e call the Eucharistic Sacrifice or the :Mass; thus 
ftÙfilling the words of the prophet in reference to our Lord: 
"Thou a1't a Priest forever, aftcr tlte order if llelcltisedec."+ 
The offering, then, ,vhich takes place in the Mass is the 
very same that was ulade on Calvary, only it is made in a 
difterent manner. On the Cross, that offering was made in 
a direct and absolute manner, it was a bloody Sacrifice; in 
the 1\las8, it is made in a mystical and com
elnorative way, 
without blood, without suffering, without death. Therefore, 
in order to understand ,vhat takes place in the 
Iass, we I11USt 
go back to the Cross. What was it that took place on the 
Cross 
 Yon ans"\\Ter, perhaps, Christ shed Iris Dlood there 
, 
for the reu1ission of sins. True: the Blood of Christ "Tas 
the material cause of our Redemption, but that which gave 
the Blood of Christ its value, that, indeed, which made it a 
Sacrifice, ,vas. the interior dispositions of the Soul of Christ. 
The Blood of Cbrist, taken as a mere material thing, could 
never have effected our reconciliation. What does tbe Scrip- 
ture say 
 "Sacrifice and oblatiQn TAou didst not desire. 
Burnt-o.ffel'ings and sin-offerings Thou didst not 1
eqruÙ'e. 
Then I said: Lo, I come to do Thy will 0 God! "
 It vIas 


. 


· Heb. vii. 25. 


t :Ps. cix. 4. 


t Ibid. 



 Ps. xxxix. 
, 8. 



486 THE :MASS THE HIGHEST WORSHIP. 


by the oòedience of Christ, an' obedience practised through 
His whole life, but of which 
is Death and Passion were the 
fullest eÀ"Pression, that Christ, as our elder brother, repaired 
our disobedience. While our Lord ,vas hanging on the 
Cross, He exercised every Divine virtue ,vhich the soul of 
man can exercise. He loved. lIe prayed. He praised. lIe 
gave tha
ks. lIe supplicated. ITe made acts of adoration 
and resignation. In one word, lIe performed the most per- 
fect act of w-O'l'ship. 
Well, it is just the same in the }Iass. It would be the 
greatest mistake to think of the Body and Blood of Christ in 
the }lass as a sort of dead offering. It is living, and offered 
by the living Christ. Christ is the Priest of the Mass as 
",.ell as the victim. It is Christ who celebrates the Mass, and 
He celebrates it with a warm and living Heart, the same 
Heart with which He worshipped the Father on Mount 
Calvary. It is this that makes the Mass what it is. If it 
were not for this, the }fass would be a carnal sacrifice, in- 
finitely superior, indeed, to those of the Old Law, but of the 
saIne order. It is this which makes the Sacrifice of the 1rIass 
a reasonable service, a Spiritual Sacrifice. 
.And no,vyou are prepared to understand Iny assertion that 
the 
lass supplies the want of the human soul for an ade- 
quate mode of approaching God. As a creature before its 
Creator, you are oppressed with your own inability to wor- 
ship Him worthily. Do you want a better worship than that 
which His Eternal Son offers 
 In the J\Iass, the Son of God 
, 
in His Human Nature worships the Father for us. lIe 
prays for us; asks pardon for us; gives thanks for us; adores 
for us. As He is perfect man, lIe expresses every human 
feeling; as lIe is perfect God, nis utterances have a com- 
plete perfection, an infinite acceptableness. Thus, when we 
offer J\Iass, we worship the Father ,vith Christ's ,vorsbip. 
It seems to me that the Catholic can have a certain kind of 
pride in this. He may say, "I know I am weak and as 



TilE MASS 'l'HE HIGHEST "-ORSHIP. 487 


nothing before God, yet I possess a treasure that is worthv 
to offer Ilim, I have a prayer to present to IIim all-perfect 
and all-powerful, the prayer of IIis Only-Begotten Son in 
"Thorn fIe is well pleased." 
N or is this all. Christ worships the Father for us in the 
Mass, not to excuse us froln worshipping, but to help us to 
worship. Yon remember how, the night before our Saviour 
died, lIe took wi tIt IIim Peter and James and John, and 
going into the garden of Gethsemane, lIe said to tl1 eln , 
"Tarry ye here, while I go and pray yonder." And ho\v, 
being relnoved from them about a stone's cast, lIe began to 
pray very earnestly, so that lIe was in an ngony, and the 
drops of blood fell from His body to the ground; and hovt. 
He ,vent to them from time to time to urge them to watch 
and pray along with IIim. The ,veight of all human 
sorro,vs was then upon His soul. TIe ,vas presenting the 
necessities of the whole human race to His Father, but lIe 
would have the apostles, weary as they were, borne down 
by suffering and fatigue, to join their feeble prayers with 
His. So, in the Holy Mass, He is withdrawn from us a little 
distance, making intercessions for us with groanings whiell 
cannot be uttered, and lIe would have us kneel about the 
temple aisles, adding our poor prayers to His. Our prayers, 
by being united to IIis, obtain not only a higher acceptance, 
but a higher significance. Our obscure aspirations He inter- 
prets. What we know not how to ask for, or even to think 
of, He supplies. What we ask for in ôroken accents, JIe 
puts into glowing words. What we ask for in error and 
ignòrance, He deciphers in wisdom and love. And thus our 
prayers, as they pass through