Excerpt from Help Me, or I Perish!: The Plea for Penitentiaries; A Sermon Preached by the Bishop of Moray and Ross, Before the Church Penitentiary Association, at St. James Church, Piccadilly, on Thursday, April 24, 1856
To us, that His promises would be fulfilled in ever-widening measure, until the Lord had risen upon us, and His glory had been seen amongst us. But where shall we look for men qualified for such a task? For men willing and able to work for this social, moral, and religious reform, if our ancient Univer sities fail us? For it is not the stone of political reform we re quire, but the bread of social and personal improvement. As yet, it must he confessed that darkness covers the land, and gross darkness the people. We long for a fuller and a clearer manifestation of the glory of our risen Lord, for some portion of the bright visions of the Prophet to be fulfilled in our time, for our hearts not to be ever craving for that by which they are never to be gladdened. And as it is impossible for one member to suffer without the other members suffering with it - impossible for one portion of the Church to be in this perishing con dition, whilst the other parts continue healthy and vigorous, I have brought this subject before you this morning, that you may more clearly know something of the danger by which we are threatened. For such a danger is the danger of us all: it can only be overcome by the earnest, vigorous, and united efforts of every member of Christ; and if, through the supine ness or neglect of any, the dark cloud be suffered to grow darker and heavier, we may find that it will rapidly spread over the whole sky, until the Sun of Righteousness is altogether hidden from our eyes, until our glory as a Church and as a nation is altogether darkened and then, instead of our rejoicing over the knowledge of the Lord covering the land as the waters cover the sea, we shall have to mourn that our teachers are removed into a corner, and that our candle has been put out.
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