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A Sketch Read at Durham Church, on Sunday,
August 7th, 1892

      We ought to esteem it a high and holy
privilege that God has cast our lot in that
branch of His Divine Kingdom which is
known in these United States as the Ameri-
can Episcopal Church. We belong, not
to any modern sect or society, but to one of
the great historic Churches of Christendom
--and the purest one of them all. This Church
of ours traces her origin back, not
to any uninspired man however famous,
but back, through all the ages, to the Apos-
tles of or Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Apostolic in her lineage, she is also primi-
tive in her Faith and Order. Her Baptis-
mal Creed is short and simple, consisting
only of the Apostolic Symbol. She has,
for her ministry, the Three Orders of Bish-
ops, Priests, and Deacons, which have been
in Christ's Church from the very begin-
ning. Her worship is reverent and beau-
tiful; her devotional system well adapted
to make devout and intelligent Christians
of those who are trained up under her sa-
cred influences. Well writes the poet-bis-
hop of Western New York:

"I love the Church, the holy Church,
That o'er our life presides,
The birth, the bridal, and the grave,
And many an hour besides.
Be mine through life to live in her
And when the Lord shall call,
To die in her, the spouse of Christ,
The mother of us all."

     The American Church is the daughter
of the Church of England, at once the larg-
est, grandest, and most important religious
body among English-Speaking Christians.*
The Anglican Communion (altogether)
had 275 Bishops, 30,000 Priests, and al-
most 30,000,000, baptized adherents. + Her
dioceses and missionary jurisdictions are
found in every quarter of the globe. Never
was the Church growing more rapidly than
she is to-day, +++ and never was her influ-
ence upon religious thought and life as
far-reaching and beneficent. Looking over
her past history, her present prospects, we
can only exclaim, with thankful hearts,
"What hath God Wrought."

  The First Church clergyman to visit
America was Master Woolfall who came
over with Forbisher's expedition in 1578.
In the same year the Rev. Martin Fletcher,
Chaplain to Sir Francis Drake, celebrated
the Holy Communion in the Bay of San
Francisco. In 1584 Sir Walter Raleigh
began his ill-fated colony in North Caro-
lina. Three years later was baptized Man-
teo, an Indian chief, and Virginia Dare,
the first Anglo-Saxon child born in
America. The chaplain of a passing
vessel officiated. In 1607 the work of
colonization was begun by Churchmen
both in Maine and Virginia. Each Colony


$ "Marvelous are the providences intertwined with the history of the (Anglican) Church. It
was painted by Apostolic men and numbered heroes like St. Patrick and St. Alban before the
missionary Augustine came to Canterbury. Through all its history, it has been the Church of
the English-Speaking race. The liturgy contains the purest English of any book except the
English Bible which was translated by her sons...The venerable Hooker said "Our liturgy must
be acknowledged as the singular work of the providence of God".....The Book of common Prayer
has preserved for us Catholic faith and Catholic worship."-Bishop Whipple.
+ The religious statistics of the English-speaking race (as given in a recent issue of
Whitaker's (London) Almanack) are as follows: Anglican Communion or Episcopalians,
28,500,000;Methodists, 18,250,000; Roman Catholics, 15,225,000; Presbyterians, 14,175,000;
Baptists,9,000,000; Congregationalists, 6,000,000; Other religious sects, 11,000,000; Of no
religion,15,000,000; Total, 117,175,000.
++There are persons who affect to believe that religion is dying out of the hearts of the
people, but the religious statistics of our last Census do not confirm such an opinion. The
population of the United States from 1880-1890 increased about 21 percent. During the same
decade the percentage of increase of the larger religious bodies was as follows: Lutherans,
(who increased largely by immigration from Europe) 67 percent; Episcopalians,55 percent;
Baptists, 44; Presbyterians, 37; Congregationalists, 33;Methodists, 31; Roman Catholics, 15

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