Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

ous duties? Which of us, in the degree required, takes heed to the flock, which he is appointed to superintend, and to feed; or, at all times, sufficiently considers what that superintendence, and nurture imply; also, whether he performs those duties, in the extensive, faithful, and zealous manner, which is expected of him; and which his own heart assures him he ought? Which of us constantly lives, under the deep impression and influence, that his office is derived from the Holy Spirit of God; that he is the minister of Jesus Christ; and that the flock, which he is appointed to feed, is a part of that immense Body, the Church, for the purchase of which, the Son of God both suffered and died; and, therefore, feels as he ought, the awful responsibility, attached to his office ?

Such deficiencies, we are constrained to acknowledge, exist : a part, indeed, the effect of the infirmities and weakness of our nature; but a part, also, from our too great attachment to the world, and our neglect of watchfulness and prayer. Let us earnestly entreat our Heavenly Father that both may be forgiven; but that the latter, through the influences of his Holy SPIRIT, may be corrected, so that we may not ultimately fall into condemnation; and after we have preached to others, be ourselves cast-aways.*

. I Cor. ix. 27.

The present number of the Pulpit, containing the Discourse of Bishop Croes, having been printed, though not published, previous to his decease, it would have been sent out much earlier to subscribers, but in order that the Discourse of the venerated, and much respected Prelate, might be attended by this obituary notice, for the preparation and procurement of which, some days have necessarily been expended. They are now, together, submitted for the respectful consideration of the patrons and subscribers to the work. The September number will soon be out.

OBITUARY NOTICE OF BISHOP CROES.

Died, at his residence in New Brunswick, N. J., on the 30th day of July, the Right Reverend John Croes, D. D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the Diocese of New Jersey.

Bishop Croes was born in Elizabethtown, N. J., on the 1st day of June, 1762, of parents who had emigrated from Germany. At the age of eleven, he removed with his parents to the town of Newark. His father originally designed to instruct him in some mechanical employment, as a means of future support, since the circumstances of the family were not such as to warrant incurring the expense of a liberal education. But very early in life the subject of this notice manifested a great fondness for books, and embraced every opportunity which offered to improve himself by reading. His father observing this, at length gave him the option of learning a trade or procuring an education by means of his own exertions. He chose the latter alternative. His endeavors in this respect, were, however, for a considerable time, retarded by the war of the revolution. In three or four years after the war commenced, he was called upon to take up arms in the cause of his country, and he continued engaged in this cause, with occasional intervals of rest, till the peace in 1782. He then resumed in earnest, and with that diligence and energy that marked his course through life, the acquisition of a liberal education. In doing this he was materially assisted by the late Rev. Dr. MacWHORTER, pastor of the Presbyterian church in Newark—a friend for whom he always entertained the highest regard, and who continued to manifest his kind offices towards him ever after. By indefatigable perseverance, Mr. CROES soon acquired a good knowledge of the

Vol. II.-22

Latin and Greek languages, at the same time laying the foundation of an unusually accurate knowledge of the English language. Having made these acquisitions, he undertook the business of instruction, thereby riveting more deeply the knowledge he had obtained, and procuring the means of supporting himself while studying divinity. In 1785, he married Martha Crane, daughter of a respectable citizen of Newark. Their offspring consisted of five sons and three daughters, of whom four are at this time living, viz. two sons, (both ministers in the Episcopal Church,) and two daughters. Mr. Croes continued in the business of instruction and of preparation for the ministry till the year 1789. He then visited the town of Swedesborough, in Gloucester county, and accepted an invitation to act as a lay-reader in Trinity church in that place, for a few months. In February, 1790, he was ordained Deacon, by Bishop White, and assumed the full charge of the congregation. In March, 1792, he was admitted by the same Right Reverend gentleman to the holy order of Priests.

Swedesborough is a Swedish settlement, and the congregation originally was attached to the Swedish Church. When Mr. CROES assumed the charge of it, all its concerns, both temporal and spiritual, were in an unprosperous state. The church edifice was not finished, and the worshippers were few. He applied himself immediately to the finishing of the church, and soon rendered it one of the neatest and most convenient in the diocese. All the other temporal affairs of the congregation quickly assumed a more promising aspect, while the hearers and communicants steadily increased in number. In this place he resided twelve years. In the year 1801, he received an invitation from Christ Church, New Brunswick, and St. Peter's Church, Spotswood, to become their pastor, and at the same time was elected principal of the academy in New Brunswick, which had been without a teacher for some time. This academy was the remains of what had been Queen's College —the exercises in which had been for several years discontinued. Here, also, both as minister and teacher, he exhibited the same ardent desire to be useful, and to improve the concerns committed to his charge. The academy, which he commenced with fifteen scholars, soon numbered fifty, and sixty, and seventy, and attained a character 'not excelled by any other in the state. The affairs of his churches also prospered under his judicious management. In 1808, he resigned the charge of the academy, (having previously resigned that of the church at Spotswood,) and devoted himself solely to the church in New Brunswick. In 1815, he was elected by the Convention of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, Bishop of that Diocese. But for weighty reasons, he thought proper to decline that honorable post, although the emoluments

of it would have been more than double his salary, at any time, in New Jersey. In the same year he was chosen Bishop of the Episcopal Church in his own Diocese, and was consecrated to that holy office, in November, by Bishop White,—Bishops HOBART and Kemp being present and assisting. In this responsible office also, the same traits of industry and zeal were, by him, manifested. Almost every year he visited all the churches in the Diocese, and by his judicious management of the missionary fund, he assisted in resuscitating several old and decayed congregations, and in establishing several new ones.

Of Bishop Croes, it may with truth be said, that the Church in New Jersey is to him indebted for a “long continuance of his nursing care and protection.” For forty years he took a prominent share in her concerns, and for the greater part of that time, the most prominent. Nearly all the general institutions of the Church originated directly or indirectly in him, and ever received from him the warmest patronage and support--while such was the confidence reposed in him by both the clergy and laity, that for a long time they seemed cheerfully to accede to him the control and management of most of these institutions. To the Church his heart and affections were devoted-every instanceof her prosperity caused him to rejoice, and never was he happier than when laboring for her.

From what has been said, it will be observed that Bishop CROES was a self-made man—"faber suæ fortunæ.Humanly speaking, to himself alone was he indebted for his attainments and his reputation; and the source of these may be traced to the qualities that particularly marked his character-industry, perseverance, a temper never desponding, and a mind unusually sagacious and accurate in its views. As a writer, Bishop Cross was uncommonly correct, his style is distinguished by neatness-bis choice of words by the most scrupulous attention to their true signification. As a speaker, notwithstanding a complaint in his head which generally injures distinctness of articulation, it would be difficult to find any one more easily heard and understood. In reading the service of the Church, he was peculiarly happy. As a member of society, he was distinguished for the strict uprightness of his conduct, the urbanity and dignity of his manners, his kindness to the poor and afflicted, and the interest he took in all benevolent institutions. Bishop Croes was, from the natural disposition of his mind, a lover of order; he therefore never could tolerate deviations from the rubrics and canons of the Church; while, perhaps, no person could be found better acquainted than he was, with her laws and regulations. Finally, his discourses were all marked by clear and forcible exbibitions of the doctrines and duties of the Christian religion. He "rests from his labors,” but his works will long be remembered.

FUNERAL OF THE LATE BISHOP CROES.

The funeral of the Right Rev. John Croes, D. D., Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of New Jersey, was attended on Tuesday, July 31, at 2 o'clock, P. M., at his late residence, in New Brunswick. The assemblage of the members of the flock of which the deceased had been, for about thirty years, the much respected pastor, of the people of other denominations in that city, and of those who came from other places to testify their regard for the deceased prelate, was large. Precisely at the hour of three, a long procession moved, with slow and solemn steps, to the venerable edifice in which the deceased servant of Christ had long officiated. The pall was borne by two of the clergy of the deceased Bishop, and by several ministers of the different denoninations attached to Rutgers College, and to the several churches in the city, all assembled in Christian fellowship for the solemn and affecting purpose of conveying to the house of silence, the mortal remains of the first bishop that had finished his course in the Diocese of New Jersey. The anthem and the lesson in the funeral service, were read by the Rev. John M. WARD, Rector of St. Peter's Church in Spotswood; and the service at the grave, which was opened near the chancel, was pronounced by the Rev. T. CHAPMAN, Rector of St. Peter's Church in Perth Amboy. A deep solemnity pervaded the whole assembly, and the words of the funeral service, in which it is expressed that "it hath pleased ALMIGHTY God, in his wise providence to take out of the world the soul of our deceased” Right Reverend Father in God, went home to the feelings of all, but more especially of those who admired in the deceased Bishop a firm attachment to the doctrines and practices of the Church, adorned with a consistent and exemplary conduct in all the relations of life.

It would have been gratifying to the feelings of the mourning relatives, and of the other friends of the deceased, if one of the brethren of the deceased in the Episcopal station, according to custom, could have been present to add a funeral discourse to the other solemnities of the occasion. But time could not be taken to procure the attendance of one of the bishops; Bishop ONDERDONK, of New York, being absent in a distant part of his Diocese, and the Bishops of Pennsylvania being too far removed to admit of the attendance of either of them on the occasion.

Immediately after the conclusion of the funeral solemnities, the clergy of the Diocese present met, and passed several resolutions expressive of their respect for the memory of their much valued and respected Diocesan, and of their sympathy with his family under their severe bereavement.

« PoprzedniaDalej »