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Bishop Julius' First

i Sermon in ]Yew Zealand. .

The scone and the'service in Chrifitchurch Cathedral on Thursday evening were such as will never be forgotten by those who were fortunate enough to be present. The chancel, with its beautiful floral decorations, its clustered lights, the venerable figures of the Bishops, the white robed choristers, tho large gather- • I ing of clergy in their surplices and hoods, and the dense mass of worshippers which filled the nave, were a spectaclo such as never before was presented within tno sacred building, and such as may perhaps have no parallel for many years to c'om'6. Tho musical part of the service was de-. lightfully rendered, the anthem "Arise O Lord God into Thy resting-place/ ' written for the, occasion by 'Canon ; Dunkley and set to music by Mr G. F. Tcndall the cathedral organist, being of a very high order or jnei'it, being most ex- ' cellently rendered, the pure sweet voices of the choir boya who took the soprano recitative being specially noticeable. "But enjoyable as.was Ihe service in all other. respects, its crowning glory was the splendid sermon delivered by the newly installed Bishop. On his ascending.tho pulpit steps every eye' 'in thY vtsfrras- . semblage was fixed upon him, and his clear tones with their ring of earnestness, and whole-souled devotion' at once' enchained the rapt attention of every person in the vast audience. ' That the preacher' was* thoroughly in earnest, , that he spoke from a full heart, and' from a heart beating with the noblest aspirations wps .plain as the sun at noonday, and the eloquence and pathos of his appeal to the aid in his great work.-both of clergy and laity wont straight to the •hearts of all, and many.of hia hearers were visibly moved, while none who had

w a heart at all could fail to have been ie inspired to nobler thoughts and higher it aspirations by the- manly Christian eloie quence of this remarkable man. ' His 5t tones are resonant," his diction pure, his y. eloquence such as none but the born {orator possesses, but far above and'beyond all this is' the; firm' conviction which "he at once inspires of his thorough sincerity, his firm belief in the religion he preaches, and his strong faith in Him whose minister he is. The following is .the text of his memorable first sermon in' New Zealand. Bishop Julius took for his text I. Timothy iv.,,-,lorr/yTo' this end we labor and strive, because we have our hope' set on . the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of them that believe."The hope of "the living: God (said ?his Lordship) was the very gospel • o£«the Jewish race. In that hope their greatest ' heroes lived and wrought, and di^d. "Abraham endured, as-seeing Him who is invisible." The hope of the living God sanctified the otherwise unworthy life of Jacob, and redeemed the ferocity of David. The hope of the living God stored the prophets of every age, and made them -, great in the, midst of the' corruption of their times. ' There was' ho doubt that their idea of God was inadequate and imperfect, and !so also is ours ; but their God was " a living (rod," a working God, ■ energising, loving, strengthening ; a God ever.presenti'among them,—theirihope, their strength, their life. Take their own words: "The Lord is my strength." "The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer ; my God, my strong rock, in Him will I trust; my shield ; the horn of my salvation ; my high tower " —is not that a living God '( And the man that ' wrote that, did he not know the hope of. the living Godi And those words, in which St Paul expressed the hope that ■ burned in his own soul, those were trup of many, a hero of the past.' ■ Elijah mighb have said the samo thing when he stood on Carmel's top alone, amid the heathenism of his fellow-men. Ezra and Nehemiah might have said the same las they sought to build again the temple , of their God ; and the Maccabees might have said the same as they wrought and toiled amid the overwhelming foes 'of their people.. Turn from those times to. the days of our blessed Lord, and what'contrast do we fnid ! Scarcely do we find one who believes in a living God. , They believe in a God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, but they have no knowledge : or idea of a C!o;I ruling them, of a God of their own day ; ami :>o it is that frho hopo of which they speak and sing ,has become a lie. Formula takes the place of faith ; orthodoxy ranks higher than obedience ; zeal stands in the room of love. <There is no place for a living God; no place for One speaking to them with a new message ; no place for a higher revelation; noplace even for the Christ of God. "We,, hear Him speak," they might say, "by Moses and the Prophets; we believe' in Him who brought our fathersout of Egypt, and wrought wonders in the wilderness; but our God is far from us; four hundred years .have passed since He last spoke to us. Surely our God is dead." Yet the High God was" speaking to them, and there were many of them who heard Him ;andintheheart of the people, and in the great heart of the j world! there Tose up a new hope of the living God, mightier far than any before, j breaking down the old barriers, and- "overleaping the old limits—-a mighty:hope?tl»at stirred the hearts of priests and servants of God; that made Apostles go forth orer the whole world, carrying, with them theliving gospel of a living Christ ? Yea, God was speaking, and men heard, Him ; and believed in a living j3od. Christianity was no mere revival of the past. S|an lives in cycles and in 'spirals, and had „.-- reached out now to some higher thing, in the love and providence of God. 4 For what was. the God, of the Christ}&n, but the Father and Savujur of all men, specially of them that believe^-a God indwelling, in the Spirit, making Himself known to the Church'and to the souls of men as He had never been known before. And so it was that through the long' ages .oLthe Christian history this hope df Ihe living God has made the Church' strong, ever strongest as she hoped in thY living God most firmly. In such hope Chrysostom endured, and Augustine toiled. Withl ,'.'- such; hope pf ;the' living - Boniface ' • braved the dangers of the northern forests and endured untold affliction, disappointment, - and pain. la such a hope^as this your own, our own; Selwyn wrought here for 26years, laying deep the foundations .of a New Zealand Church. In the hope o£ a living God, a Pattesoh^gave, up hisilifo for those he loved. Arid, in the hope ot a living God, a Father Damien will take up ! his abodenin the leper settlements, and only pray that God may sendanother to take his place when he has gone.. Never, my brethren, in the whole history of the Church, has she had a sterner work to do than that which God>has given into her hands to-day. The birth and growth, and the development of nations, demand of us an intensemissionaryzealandan enterprise that the Church has scarce known before, that we may fill up that which has been lacking in x.he past. The spread of education demands of us a more learned and'a more capable clergy. The growth of coin., merco calls us to a higher spirituality. $f tone. And, above all, the spread of scientific enquiry, the doubts that are broadcast, the difficulties that are found. in almost every honest heart—these call for care, for prayer, for earnest thought and lovo in the Church of God. No formulas of a dead past will serve pur purpose to-day. No magic of human eloquenco; no survival of ah almost .forgotten Christ; no prido of past achievements; no organisation, however perfect; no ritual however grand ; no—my brothers, my sisters,— none of these will servo us to-day; nof-hinir but an intenao and mighty hope in l!;o In inj: God our Saviour. Aye, but, ■ J moan a living God. lam not speaking, of Him who taught tho world 1800 years ago, but of One who is teaching ,*iß as much to-day £ not a God who ruled |»

distant land in ages almost forgotten, a God who is as truly ruling the nations to-day by His will and power as he ever did ; a God speaking to" us truths which we are hard to hear, by prophets whom we dare scarce accept ', a God who is casting us forth from the nest of our spiritual contentment, on the rolling .. mists'of fear and doubt and perplexity - . even as the eagle casts forth the eaglets from her nest—that he may bear us up upon His wings, and tell us how to trust Him and how to soar higher and higher. But if we hope in the living God, then we - shall labour and strive, for hope ; * begets enthusiasm, and enthusiasm is - the parent of labour ; and I—called to be your Bishop—lpok out with fearful heart on the work that lies before k the Church and before me. . I sco,: I know,, „ .how much, there is that, must be done. I of - the difficulties that press in.the,: Way., ;I see a fair city, growjng;U]vso quickly, and so soon to be multiplied in its population. I race young people growing up amongst us who have lost the influence" of "the Old Land, and who are to ready to drift away from the Church of .their! fathers,' and from the ;<;GospeV.6f their Christ, and I know that r.w.e must Bearch them out and find them, J and bring them in, in the hope and love Vof the living God. I know that, we must -give, them " a gospel for to-day—for this 1 life 1 rather' than for the' life to come—a 'gospel for their 1 present heeds, that their hungry souls may be fed. I know, and ; you know, the 'greatness of the work to doh'e—and can Ido it alone 'i But in v "the name and ,in the hope of the living "God, I, poor man that I am, I cry-tb you, 1 my. brothers here, to help me, my sisters here to help me, and toy. fathers Here to help me, in this great work that must be. done.. My brothers in the clergy, many of whom have .wrought in this colony in years gone •by,'l-look to youfor your help, I ask you for the benefit of your experience, for your hearty co-operation. My brothers, •give me of- that which you have to give/ in the name and for the sake of that dear - Lord who died for us. And 1, for my part, will give you all I can —all the love, all the sympathy, all that my poor heart can,pour put, if you will give me that •which, God has bestowed on you. And, - my brothers of the laity, I have wrought ong enough in the Church of God to know the power of the laity. I know that nothing can be done without your help. I have learned ,to believe that the Church is riot the clergy, but the mass of the people ; and I look to you to help me to fill up that which, is lacking among the clergy. We cannot work alone, or without you. We ask you for your wisdom, your strength, ■ to give us, all the grace and power you have; we ask you for such wealth as you have,,that the Gospel of our God may be spread through the colony. And, young men, oh, young men, I, your young Bishpp, look to you. There are, great men in this diocese, who have worked in the years gone by, and have^done good service, and are passing away. Will you come forth to take their place, to carry on their work ? • Oh, give me your help. In the name of the living God, come forth and give the Church your vigor, your earnestness, your enthusiasm, and the power and grace of your young life. And you, , young women, the Church cries to you to help her. Oh, help us with your sym- . pathy, and with those mighty powers with < which God has entrusted you. Use them . for God and his Church. Help us in our , battle against social evil; for the poor, the ] wanderers, the strangers, and the fallen, j In fear and trembling I stand in this place to-night. Ah ! you can understand that which lies upon my heart. I stand here, scarce realising the awful greatness oi that call which God has made to me, scaree 1 knowing jrpt that. I am 1 a Bishop of the Church of God, and yet < feeling so heavily the weight of a new j . responsibility. I fear, my brothers, lest < you should expect more than I can give. ] God knows I am but a child ; I am poor and ignorant, and have scarce touched the very fringe of His truth ; but Ido believe i and hope in the living God. I stand here tb-hight in the place of one whose long and faithful service, whose wise counsel, whose gentle and blameless life have won for him the love, respect and reverence of this whole Colony., Almost deaf to earth's voices, he can almostrhear that voice; that cries, " Servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought the better fight." Ah ! you will miss him more than you yet know. You will miss that reverend head, that well-known ' face, those wise and solid words, that counsel based on a wide experience—and I—Oh ! God—how can I fill his place ! Yet will notl be afraid. I look to you to-night, I ask you to pray for me. I ask in no mere form of words, but from the depth of my soul—oh brothers, pray to the living God. If you believe in Him, pray Him to make strong that which is weak, that I may help my brothers in their difficult work, their great and glorious work ; that I may be a Bishop wisely governing the Church of God—a workman that needeth not to be ashamed. Shall I be afraid as I stand here, even in the face of the great work that lies before me, even in the faqe of the problems that lie heavy on my heart and soul ? Nay, I will not be afraid ; I believe in the living God ! Oh God, our trust is in Thee, let us never be confounded.

torian railways. "' Sir Halliday Macartney, English Secretary to the Chinese Envoy, in the course of an interview to-day, said that China insists on being placed on an equal status with other Powers, and asserted that an agreement with Australia would have been concluded had it not been for ten days' delay occasioned by Sir John Walsham, British Minister at Pekin.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900502.2.25

Bibliographic details

Bishop Julius' First, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2419, 2 May 1890

Word Count
2,511

Bishop Julius' First Ashburton Guardian, Volume XII, Issue 2419, 2 May 1890

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