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BISHOP BARRY'S VALEDICTORY., Issue 7913, 22 May 1889
BISHOP BARRY'S VALEDICTORY.
In passing through Melbourne en route for England, Bishop Barry was the recipient of a valedictory address from the Anglican community of that city, and in replying to it he said :—" Since he had been in Australia he had been brought in contact with all forms and departments of church life. He found that he knew more of Australian geography even than those who had passed their whole life here, and there was not, with the exception of Northern Queensland, a single diocese which his duty had not called upon him to visit, during the five years he had been here. If his experience here had been short, very much had been compressed in it. What were the chief things they should keep in mind, if they were to rise to the great opportunity placed before them in this new country ?_ First of all he would place the constitution of the church in which the clergy and laity each had their rights and their places. He valued beyond expression the constitutional government of the church here, and he hoped the clergy and laity would grow into the synodical life of the church, and that men of the highest aims and attainments would come forward and take thtir part in the church councils. Ab for the power of the Bishop and his authority here, he believed it was strengthened and not weakened, because he was not an autocrat, but the head of a constitutional government. The more those things were realised the more would the church grow, the more would it adapt itself to free institutions, and the more would it find a place even for that democratic wave which appeared to be sweeping over all civilised communities, and not tho least over the Australian colonies.—(Applause.) Another thing which should be realised wai a simple universality of service of God. Good men who did the work of the church should not expect to be thanked for it, as what they did was but the fulfilment of a simple and absolute duty.—(Hear, hear.) God's work could be furthered by men giving of what He had given to them. Money was dormant power. It would buy scope for higher intellectual, and moral, and spiritual power, and he believed that responsibility for the use of wealth was a very large portion of man's moral education. —(Hear, hear.) Men, of course, should use their wealth for the benefit of themselves and their families, but beyond that there was a service of God, and wealth should be used for the furtherance of His work and the good of humanity.—(Applause.) He sometimes wondered that there were not more millionaires like Mr Francis Ormond—men who delighted in seeing their wealth do good in their own day and in their own country.—(Applause.) That wa3 much better than either hoarding up riches or squandering it in a way which was demoralising, and sometimes in a direction which tended not to the welfare but to the absolute evil of the community. (Hear, hear.) He was, however, addressing men who were not millionaires, but every one of them should give according to his wealth to the service of God. It should also be their duty to rally around their Bishop, and give him all the moral and material support they possibly could in his work—(Hear, hear.) There was no community in Christendom where the freedom of the individual members was so great as in the Church of England, and therefore he called upon them to use that freedom nobly, and to show there was in it a power which would conquer all things that stood up against it.—(Applause.) They should study the church as a whole, and break down the divisions which kept churchmen away from churchmen.—(Applause.) He did not mean merely church parties, because there would always be such parties, but they should never prefer their party to their church.—(Hear, hear.) Localism in church matters should especially be avoided, for localism was not the system of the Church of England. Every pariah, every congregation, and every individual should feel themselves in union with the great life of the church, and study to realise the life of the church as a whole.—(Hear, hear.) The church must not disregard the spirit of the age. If the church could show this age that the Church of Christ gave what the age needed, it would be accomplishing much towards converting the world.— (Hear, hear.) This age was an inquiring age. Almost all questions were taking something of a religious aspect, and the Church of Christ must rise to the occasion and present to the world a theology that should be old and yet new—not a system that had passed away, but a theology which was deep because simple, simple because deep—a theology that was not lazy and vague, but that rested on a solid basis of truth.—(Applause.) The church should show to the world a high moral enthusiasm, something that would shame the drunkenness and impurity that were sapping away the manhood of these new countries, that would shame selfishness, and that would give that loyalty to authority which was the essence of patriotism. It had always been the tradition of the Church of England that she would serve not merely those who called themselves her adherentß, but that she would serve the good of the whole community. She felt a deep interest in all that concerned the morality of the people as a whole, and the more her clergy and laity here endeavored to sympathise with the material and social questions which agitated the community, the more would they realise of the light that now is, as well as of the light that is to come.—(Applause.) If the Church of Christ was to do her work in a great community like this, there mu3t be something done towards healing or mitigating our unhappy divisions. It was perfectly true that under these divisions there was a deep, underlying unity, but their existence was one of the very greatest hindrances to the planting of the Church of Christ in our settlements. If the Church of England, by her character and position, was called upon to work for the reunion of Christendom—to hasten the day when all should be one—it must be for her to thank God for that high honor, and to seek to rise to that great responsibility. There lay before this community the opportunity of achieving greatness, and if it was to have that greatness it must be through the medium of high work which the Christian Church did for her Master. The Christianity of the English race, as in days past, so in days present, was bound up with its noblest aspirations, and on the work of Christ depended the greatness of our Australian future.—(Applause.)"
BISHOP BARRY'S VALEDICTORY., Issue 7913, 22 May 1889
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