The clergy of your diocese, assembled to welcome you on your return from Scotland, can find no better words in which to do it than some which were used on the similar occasion one hundred years ago. "We embrace with pleasure this early opportunity of congratulating you on your safe return to your native country, and on the accomplishment of that enterprise in which, at our desire, you engaged. Devoutly do we adore and reverently thank the great Head of the Church that He has been pleased to preserve you." The voyage to-day is neither "long" nor "dangerous," but we have followed you with our prayers, and have rendered our thanksgivings that He has conducted you in safety to the haven where you would be. We are glad to know that the voyage was more prosperous than a century ago it was wont to be, and that you and the four honored brethren who accompanied you have not experienced the old proportion of fatalities. We greet them and welcome them with you. We appreciate most warmly the courtesy with which you were received -- how could it have been otherwise, indeed? -- and the greeting you have had from those who in this generation bear the historic names of Nelson and Douglas and Gordon; and that Wordsworth and Harold Browne have met with the master in theology at whose feet so many of the American clergy have sat. The desire has at last been gratified, which of late years has been so generally-felt, that the mother churches of Scotland and England might have opportunity to receive and welcome you as the representative, duly accredited by her bishops, of the Church in America; that one who does not seek occasions, but whom occasions seek, should speak for her on this worthy occasion in commemoration of the great founder of her Episcopate. We believe that this interchange of courtesies and sympathies, especially between the Churches in Scotland and Connecticut, will gladden and strengthen both in their common work for the Master through the century to come.
If a regret may properly be expressed on this occasion of rejoicing, it is that the Primus of Scotland and the Primate of all England were hindered from personal participation in an occasion which had their warmest sympathies, Seabury's consecration will always be the poetic incident in American Church history, and it would have been a sweet revenge of time to have had them united in the ratification of an act of piety and charity which the predecessor of the one did not dare, and of the other dared to do. Of that act and its momentous issues so much has been and will be said, and more fittingly, both here and elsewhere to- day, that it is enough if the churchmen of Connecticut be permitted now to say through me, that it is a privilege for which they are deeply grateful to have been instrumental in bringing about the very first movement of the Church in Britain from an insular to a Catholic position; in demonstrating -- to quote the words of Lord Nelson uttered in your hearing at Aberdeen -- "that establishment and endowment are not necessary to Church life." For it is to be remembered that not only was there not an Anglican bishop exercising acknowledged jurisdiction in America before Seabury, but there was not an Anglican bishop anywhere outside of the British Isles. Our fathers, sending Seabury for consecration, awakened the English Church to the consciousness that it had a duty to the world in extending its episcopacy beyond the shadow of its cathedrals and palaces. For this great result, "so far beyond what they had hoped for," of their wise and holy enterprise, we humbly adore the great Head of the Church on this hundreth anniversary of its inception in the consecration of the first bishop of Connecticut.
For thirty-three years, dear Bishop, chief pastor of the first American diocese, you have carried on wisely and well the work which Seabury began, going in and out among us with the pastoral spirit in your heart, of which the graceful gift of the Scottish Church to you is the expressive symbol: "To the flock of Christ a shepherd." We welcome you once more to your home and to ours; to the diocese you love and serve; to the parishes which love and reverence you; and to the institutions you have founded and fostered. You have been absent from us long enough for our comfort and, as we gladly believe, for yours. Fourscore and four years of the eighteenth century Connecticut endured to have its bishop on the other side of the Atlantic. Three months is enough in the nineteenth. May the twentieth find you here, with pastoral staff in hand, and loyal hearts and sustaining hands of clergy and laity all around you, and half a century of episcopal work behind you -- a golden track of useful and honored years; and before you the large reward -- "not of debt but of grace" -- for the due use of the many talents and the fulfilment of the large responsibilities entrusted to the fourth bishop of Connecticut.
And with this welcome to you and your companions -- our representatives -- we would renew the expression of the pious hope with which a hundred years ago the clergy of Connecticut concluded their address of welcome to their first bishop: "Wherever the American Episcopal Church shall be mentioned in the world, may this good deed, which the Scottish Church has done for us, be spoken of for a memorial of her!"