Rev. Joseph Caldwell Huske, D.D.
REV. JOSEPH CALDWELL HUSKE, D. D.
Rev. Joseph C. Huske, D.D.,
Rector Emeritus of St. John's Episcopal Church,
Fayetteville, N. C.
Born June 17th, 1822.
Died January 14th, 1897.
gravestone grave marker monument]
The following compilation of loving tributes to one of the truest of teachers, most consistent of exemplars, and best of men, may be open to the imputation of lacking in method or connectedness of arrangement. If so, the apology is tendered that owing to the variety and miscellaneous nature of the material from which selections had to be culled, it could not well be otherwise. There will be no attempt at editorial effect or linguistic display.
It is simply a compendium of the outgush of feeling that went out to this godly man when his earthly and upright pilgrimage was ended. There will be no claim of peerage in fervid eloquence with the world's greatest pulpit orators, such as Bourdaloue, Massillon, Bossuit and Tillotson; but in piety and purity of life, singleness of purpose, earnestness of aim, loving nature to his Maker and to man, and unvarying, sweet, placid temperament, it is not believed by those who knew him best that he was surpassed even by such shining lights, or any others in terrestrial state. Let us trust for the sake and hope of most survivors that untold myriads may there be in the realms of the blessed who in the flesh fell far short of this beautifully rounded Christian life. In such character and with such
godlike attributes, it is desired to portray this modest, simple, unpretentious, high-cultured, parochial priest. Loving and lovable he was to and of all men who enjoyed the happiness of his ministrations or social intercourse or contact with him. In all things we believe him to have been the unswerving, unremitting devotee of duty, and, as earthly reward, the most universally beloved and venerated man in his walk of life that we have ever known. Who would exchange the meed of praise as here outlined for the crown and sceptre of king or kaiser or the triumph and laurel wreath of a world conqueror?
W. J. G.
FAYETTEVILLE, N. C.,
April 7, 1897.
ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, FAYETTEVILLE, N. C.
Action of Diocese of East Carolina.
The Standing Committee of Diocese of East Carolina met in St. James’ Rectory Tuesday, January 19th, in honor of its late President, the Rev. J. C. Huske. The Rev. J. Carmichael, D. D., was elected President of the Committee. The Rev. Nathaniel Harding was elected to fill the vacancy on the Committee caused by the death of Dr. Huske. The following official announcement was placed upon the minutes and sent to the church and secular papers:
“The Standing Committee, with a peculiar sense of sorrow and of loss, announces to the Diocese and to the church the death of its President. Rev. Joseph Caldwell Huske, D. D., born June 17, 1822, departed this life January 14, 1897. Endowed by nature with marked vigor and clearness of intellect, inflexibility of purpose, and sweetness of disposition, tender and unvarying, the comfortable gospel of Christ took possession of him in early life and shaped him into the loving parent, exemplary citizen, invaluable friend, and truly consecrated priest. His loss we deplore, his memory we cherish with hallowed emphasis, and his priceless example we pray God to give us grace to follow, so that we, with him, may have our perfect consummation and bliss in God's eternal and everlasting glory.”
Death of Dr. Huske.
The Rev. Dr. Joseph C. Huske, Rector Emeritus of St. John's Episcopal Church, died just before midnight Thursday, January 14th, at Bordeaux, the residence of his son-in-law, Mr. James M. Pearce, near this city.
Joseph Caldwell Huske was born at the old Huske homestead on Ramsey street in this city on June 7, 1822. He was the son of John and Ann Tillinghast Huske, and was named for his great uncle-in-law, Doctor Joseph Caldwell, the first President of the University.
John Huske, a native of Orange County, was a leading merchant of Fayetteville in his day. He was twice married, his first wife being Joanna Tillinghast, a daughter of Paris Jencks Tillinghast, who was also a prominent merchant of Fayetteville, having come to this place in the year 1804 from Providence, Rhode Island, of which city his ancestors were among the founders. The children of this marriage were John, who married Annice, a sister of the late eminent Mr. Dobbin; James, who married Miss Donaldson; Elizabeth, who married Mr. William J. Anderson; and Joanna, who married the distinguished Dr. Benjamin W. Robinson. His second wife was Ann Tillinghast, a sister of the first. The children of this marriage were Walter, Joseph (the subject of this notice); Isabella Donaldson, who married Dr. Jack Williams; William; Benjamin R. (who died from wounds received
before Richmond as Major of the Forty-eighth Regiment); Wright; Sarah Stark, who married the learned Mr. T. J. Robinson; and Helen C., who married the Rev. Dr. Richard Hines, of Raleigh, afterwards of Memphis, Tennessee.
Of this large family, only Mrs. Isabella Williams and Mrs. Jeff. Robinson survive; but a number of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of John Huske constitute a large part of the best element in Fayetteville's population, and others of them have become prominent in distant towns and States.
The subject of this notice was graduated at the University, at the head of his class, in 1843. He studied for the ministry and was ordained a Deacon of the Protestant Episcopal Church at St. John's Church, in this city, March 21, 1847, by Bishop Ives, and was advanced to the Priesthood by Bishop Ives, at Grace Church, Morganton, October 8, 1849. On January 23, 1849, he was married in St. John's Church, by the Rev. Jarvis B. Buxton, to Margaret Kirkland, daughter of the late Judge and Senator Robert Strange. He received two calls to the rectorship of parishes—to that of Tarboro and to that of Morganton. He chose the latter, which included also the parish of Lincolnton, and these two churches he served with great credit to himself until the death of Mr. Buxton, in 1851, when he was chosen Rector of St. John's and entered upon the distinguished and most useful career which has just closed. At the end of nearly forty years’ service as Rector of St. John's, his feeble health compelled him to relinquish his duties as head of this large parish, and he was made Rector Emeritus in 1888,
Rev. Mr. Atkinson being his successor. But he would not remain idle. He founded St. Thomas's Church on Hybart's Hill, and this, together with St. Joseph's (colored) in town, and the church at Rockfish, were each served by him once a month.
Dr. Huske was a man of striking appearance, and at the Centennial of the University, year before last, his was the most notable figure of the many distinguished alumni gathered on that great occasion. He possessed an uncommonly strong mind, which was highly developed and cultivated by his associations, by his school and college education, and by constant study up to the last. The Latin classics, particularly Tacitus, were, next to the Bible, the books he prized most; and to his familiarity with these masterpieces of literature is doubtless to be attributed the fine classic flavor that pervaded his remarkably good English. As an orator, he was earnest and most impressive, and when the subject of his discourse enlisted the full sympathy of his great heart, his words seemed almost inspired. But his written sermons were elegant specimens of fine writing, and read even better than they seemed to be as delivered. As a debater in convention, he was without a superior. He was exceedingly ready, fluent and forcible, rarely failing to enforce his views.
Apart from the training derived from his sacred calling, and apart from the natural attributes which would commonly lead to adopting it, Dr. Huske possessed an essentially pious disposition. He was by nature a reverent and godly man. He was also tender-hearted and generous, and filled with the
milk of human kindness. He was withal a man of infinite wit. He occupied in consequence a unique place in this community, and was so loved by the people of all faiths that he might well be likened to the late Bishop Fraser, of England, whose similar character won for him the title, “Bishop of all Denominations.”
Dr. Huske filled a large place in the church in North Carolina, both before the Diocese was divided and since. He was almost continuously, for a number of times, a delegate to the triennial General Convention of the church in the United States. He was for many years a member of the leading committee of the Diocese of North Carolina, and he was chairman of the same committee of the Diocese of East Carolina, in which this parish now lies. When the new Diocese was created, thirteen years ago, he was nominated by Dr. Watson for Bishop, but this great honor he declined on account of his physical inability to perform the arduous duties of the office, and Dr. Watson was elected.
While his advanced age rendered Dr. Huske's death a thing to be expected in the early course of events, he had been looking so well during the autumn that the community felt a shock when they learned, ten days ago, of his dangerous illness from peritonitis. He had been in town, walking about among his friends, on Saturday, January 2, and while some remarked a change in his appearance, it was not generally observed, we believe.
Fortunate in the circumstances of his life, this man of God was happy in the surroundings of his last hours on earth. His loving children were
gathered about him, and he will be buried beside his wife and near his kindred.
- “I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
- Whose hands are pure, whose doctrines and whose life
- Coincident, exhibit lucid proof
- That he is honest in the sacred cause.”
Dr. Huske leaves seven sons: Robert Strange, the Rev. John (Assistant Rector of St. Thomas's, New York), Joseph Caldwell, Alexander S., Benjamin Robinson, the Rev. Kirkland (Rector of the parish of Long Neck, L. I.,) and Leighton, and a daughter, Mrs. James M. Pearce.
The foregoing sketch is from the Fayetteville Observer.
Meeting of St. John's Vestry.
According to notice, the vestry of St. John's parish met yesterday afternoon for the purpose of taking action upon the death of Dr. Huske.
After a touching tribute to the deceased by the Rector, Mr. Hughes, a committee was appointed, upon motion of the Senior Warden, Mr. Tillinghast, to draft resolutions expressive of sorrow of the vestry and of the parish at their bereavement. The committee reported as follows:
WHEREAS, It has pleased our Heavenly Father to call from earthly labors our aged and beloved Rector Emeritus, Rev. Dr. Joseph C. Huske; be it
Resolved by the Wardens and Vestry of St. John's Church, Fayetteville, N. C.:
That while we deeply sorrow at his death, yet we are comforted by the thought that he has entered upon the rest which remaineth for the people of God.
That our departed friend, so long our pastor and spiritual guide, was not only a blessing to the church of St. John's parish, but also to the community of Fayetteville, where he was born and raised and passed the greater part of his life.
That his death is a loss to the church at large, in whose councils, General and Diocesan, he so often participated.
That we tender our sympathy and condolence to the family of the deceased in their bereavement.
That the church building be appropriately draped, and that, with the concurrence of the family, the Wardens
and Vestry will make all necessary arrangements for the funeral.
That these resolutions be entered upon the minutes, upon a page especially appropriated to the purpose, and a copy be addressed to the family of the deceased, and also be furnished, for publication, to the Fayetteville Observer and to the Churchman.
R. P. BUXTON,
E. J. HALE,
F. R. ROSE,
Judge Buxton, who was Dr. Huske's schoolmate and playmate in boyhood, paid a feeling tribute to his old friend, recounting many incidents that showed his manliness, his habitual cheerfulness and his unfailing truthfulness and honesty as a boy—characteristics that distinguished him throughout life.
The resolutions were adopted by a rising vote. Pending their consideration, Mr. Rose, of the committee, spoke as follows; and on motion, his remarks were directed to be appended to the resolutions as a further expression of the feelings and sentiments of the vestry:
“MR. CHAIRMAN: I ask the privilege of casting into the open grave of our dear father and friend a spray of evergreen in token of my love and veneration for him. Sir, the shadow of a great grief rests upon this church, this Diocese and this community! A venerable, beloved and faithful priest—one who has ministered at our altars and gone in and out among this people for a half century,
with the consolations of religion—now ‘rests from his labors.’
- ‘Unveil thy bosom, faithful tomb,
- Take this new treasure to thy trust;
- And give these sacred relics room
- To slumber in the silent dust.’
“We sorrow; but with a certain hope of his joyful resurrection. We bless God's name for this example of devoted, holy living; for this servant of God, who served Him faithfully in his day and generation, and who is now gathered unto his fathers in the communion of the catholic church.
“ ‘To live in the hearts of those we love is not to die!’ While his works will follow him into the Paradise of God, the impress for good that he made upon a thousand lives will continue to be seen and felt here for years and years to come.
“As a pebble, thrown upon the placid surface of a lake will, long after it sinks beneath the waters, continue to send out circling and ever-widening ripples—so the faithful ministrations of our beloved and venerable father in God will be seen and felt until they touch the eternal shores.
- ‘Servant of God, well done!
- Rest from thy loved employ,
- The battle fought, the victory won,
- Enter thy Master's joy.’ ”
The Wardens were appointed a committee of arrangements to superintend the conduct of the funeral and funeral services.
As stated in Friday's Observer, the body of the deceased Rector will lie in state in front of the altar of St. John's Church from 12 to 3 P. M. to-morrow
(Sunday), so that the community may have the opportunity of viewing the remains of their dear friend. The Independent Light Infantry Company, of which he was chaplain, will furnish a guard of honor at the bier, and the vestry will supply ushers.
Funeral of Dr. Huske.
The funeral of the late Rev. Dr. Huske took place Sunday. The funeral cortege, consisting of the children and relatives of the deceased Rector and a number of friends who had driven out to Bordeaux to pay this additional mark of respect to his memory, left there at 10 o'clock. They were met on Haymount by the Independent Light Infantry, Maj. E. L. Pemberton commanding. The solemn procession wended its way down the hill, and through Hay street, and around the Market Square, and across Eccles's bridge and past the site of the Stewart Academy, where, as a boy, Dr. Huske had laid the foundation of his education—places in the old town, on the way to church, that were so familiar to his feet that he might have walked them blindfold—until it reached St. John's Church. Here it was met by the Wardens and Vestry, who conveyed the casket containing the remains to the bier which had been arranged in front of the altar, the Bishop of the Diocese, the Right Reverend Dr. Watson, and the Rector of the parish, the Reverend Mr. Hughes, receiving them there.
The casket was massive, and very churchly in its construction and design. It was of highly polished oak. Upon the lid, extending from the top almost to the bottom, was a cross of the same wood, in relief. Upon this was a silver plate bearing the inscription:
JOSEPH CALDWELL HUSKE, D. D.,
BORN IN FAYETTEVILLE, N. C.,
JUNE 7, 1822:
DIED AT BORDEAUX, NEAR FAYETTEVILLE,
JANUARY 14, 1897.
DOMINUS MEA ILLUMINATIO.
Two of the soldiers were placed at the head and two at the foot. Two of the vestrymen were at all times standing by. The lid of the casket was lifted, and the body of the dead Rector lay there in his robes.
It was a very solemn scene. Many persons said that they had never witnessed anything so impressive. The great organ had filled the old church with its notes, and these had gone out on the air to meet the procession upon its arrival, and nothing else was heard. The dignitaries of the church, as well as all others, remained in silence. Then the Bishop stood beside the body of his departed friend and gently touched his forehead. Afterward, the people were reverently conducted past, and for the three hours which intervened before the funeral service began, the stream of those who sought this last opportunity to pay respect to their old friend, was unbroken. White and black, high and low, rich and poor, came; old men and women, bowed under more than three score years and ten, children that were lifted by their parents, young men and maidens; Romanist and Protestant, Jew and Gentile. A tender-hearted Jew gently pressed the dead hand; an old colored woman courtesied before the bier and then kissed the edge of the casket; many merely touched the hem of the drapery. Meanwhile, not a sound was heard but the organ's notes.
The church had been appropriately draped in white by the ladies of the Altar Guild. There were many elegant floral offerings, which were afterwards placed upon the grave, chief among them those of the F. I. L. I., of St. Joseph's (colored), and of one who loved him, which had been sent out from New York. A sheaf of wheat sent by Mrs. Jesse Kyle was placed within the casket. Upon the offering of the Independent Company, which was an open Bible, in violets and immortelles, was the inscription: “The grace of our Lord be with you all. Amen.”
This is the last verse in the Bible, and it was the text of the last sermon preached by Dr. Huske, namely, his sermon at St. Thomas's on the Sunday after Christmas. Upon the offering of the colored churchmen the violets read, “Our Pastor;” and there were other appropriate inscriptions on others.
Later, around the grave wreaths were laid, made of holly from Myrtle Hill, whence he brought his bride nearly fifty years ago.
At 3 o'clock the Rector read the Order for Burial of the Dead. The Bishop, departing from his custom, added a tribute to his dear friend. He recalled the time, a little over half a century ago, when he and Dr. Huske were consecrating themselves to the church, and when he himself had been ordained to the priesthood in St. John's. The learned prelate was eloquent as he described the gentleness, tender-heartedness and manliness, the honesty and truthfulness, the learning and piety of the deceased Rector.
The church was filled, and numbers were unable
to gain entrance. The music, under the direction of Mr. Rose, the organist, was very fine. Mrs. McKelway, wife of the Presbyterian pastor, lent the aid of her delightful voice, and Mr. Novitzky his.
Rev. Dr. Nash, of Hay Street Methodist Church, Rev. Mr. McKelway, of the Presbyterian Church, Rev. Mr. Thomas, of the Baptist Church, and Rev. Mr. Parker, of the Campbellton Methodist Church, were in the chancel pew on the south and facing the Vestry of St. John's. The Vestry of St. Thomas's, of Christ Church, of Rockfish, and of St. Joseph's, were seated in the other chancel pews.
At the request of Rev. John Huske and the other members of Dr. Huske's family, the Vestry of St. John's acted as pall-bearers.
The Independent Company led the way to the new cemetery, the Confederate veterans of that corps came next; then the hearse. A great concourse in carriages and on foot followed.
The body was interred beside that of his wife.
At the morning service at the Presbyterian Church, Mr. McKelway paid a glowing tribute to Dr. Huske, his text being II. Timothy 4: 7, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith;” and at night, Mr. Thomas, during his sermon, paid an eloquent tribute to him at the Baptist Church.
At the evening service at St. John's, Bishop Watson delivered a sermon of uncommon power, appropriate to the occasion.
From 10 o'clock until the grave was closed and
the mourners had departed, the bell of St. John's tolled at intervals of five minutes; the bell of the Baptist Church was tolled, and the flag was at half mast on the armory.
The Rev. John Huske held a short service at St. Thomas's Church on Saturday afternoon, reciting the creed and the prayer for the dead, and offering a prayer for the incoming pastor.
The Rev. John Huske and the Rev. Kirkland Huske conducted a most touching service at Bordeaux before the procession left the house Sunday morning, their sister being unable to attend the service in town.
On the Sunday after Easter, the Rev. Dr. Strange, of Wilmington, will hold a Memorial Service at St. Thomas’, and, if it shall be completed by that time, will dedicate a memorial window at that church.
Letter of Bishop A. A. Watson, D. D.
WILMINGTON, N. C., March 24, 1897.
DEAR COLONEL: Yours of the 22d came yesterday—too late for me to reply before.
I am glad that you contemplate such a memorial of Rev. Dr. Huske. In my judgment you will scarcely be able to do him more than justice. If ever any man deserved such mention and remembrance by his friends, he did.
You ask a transcript of what I said standing over his body in the chancel of St. John's. It is out of my power to recall that. I can only express what I feel now.
He was my nearest and most valued presbyter. We were always in accord. We entered the ministry almost together, and have all these years wrought together as true yoke-fellows. Less than two years ago, led by his loved and loving voice, the jubilee of my admission to the priesthood was celebrated in your own church of St. John. Last Lord's day, March 21st, had he lived, we might have celebrated the jubilee of his ordination, in the same church, to the deaconate. He was my trusted, loved and loving friend. I doubt whether anything that I could have done would have estranged him from me. Yet he was too true a soul to have followed or supported me in anything which his conscience or intellect did not approve. As friend and presbyter he was loyal to me. But he was still more loyal to the church, and yet more loyal to his Master—Christ. His loyalty to all, to which, or
to whom he owed allegiance, was one of his most distinguishing qualities.
If ever there was an honest man, he was one. Genuine, true, above-board, direct, without a particle of pretence; sound and reliable in judgment beyond the gift of most persons; clear and decided in his convictions; sturdy and brave, yet modest and respectful of others, in upholding them; thoughtful; reminiscent of the past, and dwelling much in it and with those who had gone before, with a mind well stored with its best memories, especially those of his own State and his own Diocese; withal, modest, humble, oblivious of himself, while thoughtful for others; with a most humble estimate of himself or of his own capacities or qualities; absolutely, so far as I could see, devoid of all selfish or petty ambitions; never seeking for honors; warm-hearted and sympathetic, and ready for any friendly action or co-operation—his abilities and his virtues have made his death a grievous loss for us.
God send us many more such fellow-servants in His kingdom. And God grant us, with him, a part in the great Resurrection of Immortality and Glory.
The Right Rev. Bishop J. B. Cheshire, of the Diocese of North Carolina, was to have contributed an article, but a letter just received from him states in effect that long absence from home, an accumulated mail on his return, and the limited time left to prepare it, will preclude his doing so. This will be a source of deep regret to all who are aware of his high admiration for our deceased friend.
Memorial Sermon by Rev. Isaac W. Hughes.[note]
“For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith.” Acts xi: p. v. 24.
Joseph Caldwell Huske! It is a name enshrined within our hearts, for it is the synonym of manly strength, of Christian virtue, of saintly living. The mere heaping of encomiums upon such a man I feel would be but mockery of a life, not only so simply spent, but, in its rounding out, laid bare to all the world. Yet it is meet that we cherish the memory of such a one—fitting that in this house of God, where first he received the heavenly nurture that quickened his being, at whose altar in the prime of manhood he ministered for your souls’ upbuilding, in which he stored the power to give out freely, heart and hand and brain for you, his “children in the Lord”—fitting that here we fix his image in our lives—image of the man and the priest.
“For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith.”
These words of inspiration were first spoken of St. Barnabas, whose character is stamped by the act that first ushered him into the church's history—an act of self-sacrifice for his brethren—who “having land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the Apostles’ feet.” So real the zeal that prompted this deed, so pure the devotion that urged this tender thought of others, that he who was[note]
before known as Joses “by the Apostles, was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, ‘the son of consolation.’ ”)
Again, when the new convert Saul would ally himself with “the brethren,” it was Barnabas who first banishing all scruples of selfish fear, and taking him, brought him to the Apostles. When St. Paul, feeling the necessity for severe judgment upon the conduct of Mark, would leave him behind, Barnabas sees fit to palliate the former falling away in hope of future service.
But he was no less a man of action than a man of heart. When tidings came to the church at Jerusalem of the spreading of the gospel into other parts, Barnabas was the disciple sent to encourage and to teach—and having done this, he immediately seeks for that man of fire and herculean energy, “Saul of Tarsus,” and begins with him the great mission work among Jews and Gentiles. “After their separation nothing further is recorded of St. Barnabas in Holy Scripture; but the traditions of the church represent that he spent the remainder of his life among his fellow-countrymen at Cyprus.” “St. Chrysostom hands down a tradition that he was a man of very amiable disposition, but commanding aspect.” And this latter we might infer—for when, by reason of the miracle the people of Lystra accredited Paul and Barnabas as gods, “they called Barnabas Jupiter.”
By this brief survey we gather that this saint of Holy Scriptures was a man of physical distinction, gentle temper, patriotic devotion, sweet sympathy and ready self-sacrifice.
The striking physical and moral ground-work were but prophetic of the noble uprearing! Only to think upon such a life warms our hearts and deepens our faith—but to have known such a one! Where is the soul that does not thank God and take courage? For a moment at least the eye has been clearer, for an instant the heart has been purer, for a time the spirit of peace has brooded over the soul's turbid waters that seemed to tremble with the light of a hallowed hope. Do you and I not know this to be true? Is there one in this house of God to-day who does not know that, whatever at times his life may have been, his belief in man and faith in God have become more real, and his wish for holier things, however fleeting, become more intense for the life of that holy man of God who now rests from his labors?
“For he was a good man.” We must never forget that the external things are from God, and that there is a deep purpose beneath them. They are outward signs of that which should be beneath—they are intended as the preface of that which is beyond. Being visible, they are to point out to us the way or the character of that which, not being by the physical sense reached, has a quality more lasting than the physical, and therefore should be finer. The sensual, the thing that indicates passing away, that which it directs to, should be more stable, even as the stone which marks the roadway will crumble into dust, while the thing it signifies remains for all time. And so men are always consciously or unconsciously estimating things by their mere appearance, judging each other by the
marks of the body, holding in esteem or contempt their fellows, as lineament or stature individually attracts or repels. The thing may, and often does, overreach itself. The first impression may not be the true one, and yet there is no man but must feel a thrill of pleasure when cast of feature and mold of form are true indices to nobleness of character and moral power. This was so to a remarkable degree with Dr. Huske.
You felt at once that he was a man—man in that high sense that men love to dwell upon—physical endowment consonant with intellectual vigor and moral courage.
It was tenderly said of him by a boyhood's friend, that “in the sports he was equal with the best.” In that mental course of his college days he outstripped his fellows, and no one could behold that massive head and look into that clear blue eye without the consciousness that there was the domain of moral excellence. (But such gifts, however admirable, do not of necessity draw forth love—and Dr. Huske was loved.)
Yes, he was a man not only, but a good man. Go where you may, speak with whom you choose, and the involuntary tribute from every creed, race and condition in life is, “He was a good man.” First of all, he was a man of unusual sweetness of nature. Forceful, energetic, intense as he was, his judgment was always clear. Even when feeling most, so he was just. His heart was ever generous and loyal, so his was a ready sympathy.
Along with the sweetness of his nature was an irresistible humor; not that sordid thing which is
often the mere outlet of a cramped soul or an embittered spirit, but the expression of a heart aglow with the healthfulness of a clean conscience, and brimming with good will to all mankind—joyous and refreshing.
Here we may begin to mark the real goodness. It is one thing to possess excellent gifts—to cultivate them, quite another.
Holiness of living takes its start when we do the right because God wills it. We are too prone to believe that those who have reached an excellence beyond our own have found some royal way that is barred to us. There is no royal road but that of duty, and that is so, for the King of Kings has trod it. It stretches out for all.
We seem to feel at times that the good are without testing. How short-sighted!
Only a short time ago, in half soliloquy, this good man, in gratitude that he had been spared so long to do his Master's work, said to me: “And I have hardly known a day of perfect health!” Not a semblance of complaint! only thankfulness for the blessings that were given.
At times, through tone of voice and manner of speech, I've felt how keenly sorrow touched, how heavily the burdens could bear down. Yet ’twas but for an instant when the face would light and the voice would ring with its wonted buoyant cheer, just as some shadow swings across the cloudless sky to mark how fair the light can be. Ah! my friends, this was not reached through power of the natural, but through the Spirit which vouchsafes the grace “to think and to do the thing that is right.”
This he ever did, steadfastly, earnestly, conscientiously, and the talents were multiplied.
Again, he had the rare faculty of grasping essential things everywhere, and by nature he held them strongly. He was a good citizen—not only in that first sense, of obedience to law—but through interest in all that pertained to his State and his people, and was ever conversant with whatever tended to their betterment. He held life in its twofold character—that which now is, and that which is to come, with the full assurance that all of life is of God, and whatever concerned his fellow-man in a special sense appealed to him. And yet, withal, he remembered that he was, above all else, a teacher of righteousness, one that must give account for men's souls.
“And full of the Holy Ghost and of faith.” For almost forty years Dr. Huske served at this altar; for almost fifty years he was a priest in your midst. God only knows the righteousness that one man wrought! Turning early as he did to the priesthood, he brought with him all the power of his strong nature—high resolve, indomitable will, intellectual acumen, the sweetest brotherly kindness, and largeness of heart.
The office was not only “high,” but was “holy.” He recognized, as few men do, I fear, its terrible sacredness, its awful responsibility. He gave a life consecrated to his church and to its ministry. He was a staunch churchman because he believed in it, and therefore loved it.
Its faith, its Apostolic ministry, its bestowal of sacramental grace, its simple but beautiful Liturgy,
he held not only as precious but priceless gifts committed to his care as a faithful servant, the truths of which he was to deliver fearlessly, but in love, to his fellows. He was a theologian. He knew the church on its intellectual side, and was not only thoroughly learned in its doctrines, but fully alive to its needs and to its power for truth. For years he was one of its most faithful members in its General Council and invaluable in its Diocesan work.
With his knowledge and devotion to the church, there are few men who have been so reverenced as a counselor and comforter, so deeply loved by those beyond their own religious creed, as Dr. Huske.
This was not because he yielded an iota of what he believed to be the truth—for where principle was involved he was adamant; but because he was in the highest sense catholic—his sympathy was for every man. His life was an open book, full of a charity that not only “thinketh no evil,” but “believeth all things, hopeth all things,” and “never faileth.” He was the true priest, whose counsel, whose prayer, whose best gift was for the soul who needs, nameless, or without home. He was the priest of God. Honored as he was, capable as he was, there was a simplicity and a self-renunciation that peculiarly fitted him for the parish priest. He could be approached by all, and none should ever go away empty-handed. Wherever there was joy, it was truer for his presence. In the house of mourning he seemed indeed the very “son of consolation.” His was a greeting that all men loved, for it came from a heart free from guile. He never wearied of being about his Master's work—it was
his life. There was no sacrifice too great, no duty too hard, that he was not willing to make or to do.
Truly, no small measure of the Spirit of truth was vouchsafed to him. He bore witness ever, and in no uncertain tone, of the faith that lived and grew in him—a faith without a seeming cloud.
And withal there was a humility, a self-abasement born only of the standard of holy living—the standard of the Christ. Could such a life have been, without the Christ?
Its homage to God, its breathing of good will to men, where is its first and greatest type but in Jesus, the child of Bethlehem? Its unfailing utterance of truth, of the Father's love, of His yearning for the sons of men, who but the Christ, the Son of God, first spoke of these? Its sacrifices, ministrations to men, its shepherding of souls—where is the Exemplar, where the first teacher, but Jesus of Nazareth the Son of Mary! Ah! ’tis its Christ-likeness that gives that life its moral grandeur and its spiritual power—the living through God for man.
I thank God to have known and loved him who was so long your shepherd and our common friend. ’Twas no light thing to have given the best of his life among you, and yet quietly to give over all to a far younger man and one almost a stranger. Such ties are hard to sever; such relinquishments hard to make. And yet there was only the tenderest love, the sweetest fellowship, that not only greeted me, but was granted to the last, and now lingers in holy memory.
Thank God that you have known him and he has lived in your midst, for he speaks the spirit
and the power of Christ which can change our own vile bodies, making them like unto His own glorious body.
For more than three score years and ten he has lived among his people and passed from their midst without one stain to mar the purity and the beauty of his life. To you who have always known him, a blessing has been granted you. To those who have known his father's love and tender, watchful care, a heritage has been vouchsafed beyond price and without compare. What greater meed can life bestow than the heartfelt love of human souls? And who could behold that ceaseless throng of sorrowing hearts that pressed beside that bier, but must know they were hearts that loved!
Richly was such love merited. ’Tis well about these sacred walls the white folds fall, fit type of purity and everlasting light!
- “He sleeps,” we say—
- ’Tis we who sleep!
- His eye beholds a fairer day,
- While we are thralled in slumber deep—
- We dream! we sleep!
- “He rests,” ’tis said—
- ’Tis we who stand,
- And, still lingering here, are dead
- Upon life's drear and darkling strand;
- We halt! we stand!
- Still sleep! still rest!
- Ah! there is peace,
- And every joy that life holds best.
- There heaven hymns for earth release
- Only Peace! sweet Peace!
From Letter of Rev. Thomas Atkinson.[note]
I am sure that there are none who loved and honored Dr. Huske more than I did and do. My six years’ association with him forms one of the sweetest recollections of my stay in Fayetteville, and I am very grateful to him for many kind words and deeds, and much wise counsel, as well as for the constant benefit of the example of a truly pure and holy life. Perhaps most of all, I remember his entire unselfishness and self-forgetfulness. Our relation to each other could easily have been exceedingly delicate. He had been for many years the beloved and honored Rector of an important parish, and it would have been only human if he had felt some sadness at giving up his work and seeing another fill the place which had so long been his. Many men would not have been willing to efface themselves as he did, and to give every effort to support and strengthen a successor in his work. Indeed, he often embarrassed as well as touched me by the way in which he would come and ask permission to perform priestly acts in the parish, when some special request had been made for his services; and though I always told him to feel entirely free to exercise his ministry as he would, he yet never omitted that courteous consideration for my rights and prerogatives as Rector, so indicative[note]
of the true gentleman and the sweet, unselfish Christian. And then, too, he was always the faithful, loyal friend. Many a time did I go to him for advice, as to one on whose wisdom and sympathy I could always rely, and never was I disappointed. Indeed, as a counsellor he had very few equals, for not only was he blessed with a singularly clear and well balanced judgment, but he was also a wonderfully perfect example of that heavenly wisdom of which St. James speaks, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. As I write these words I think we could hardly have a better description of his character, pure, peaceable, gentle and kind, merciful, just and true. It was this that made him the lovable man that he was, beloved alike by rich and poor, because he had sympathy for all, and all found in him a wise and tender friend. Then, how lovely he always was in the sick room! He seemed always to know just what to say and how to say it to those in sorrow and suffering, and this again was one great element of his fruitfulness as a shepherd of souls. I do not doubt that his tender words at the bedside to the afflicted and dying have brought light and comfort and peace to many a one weary and heavy laden with sin and sorrow; and so we feel sure that his reward will be something supremely glorious and blessed at the last, for they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.
GRACE CHURCH, MORGANTON, N. C.
HIS FIRST CHARGE.
From Sermon of Rev. A. J. McKelway.
The following is an extract from a sermon delivered at the Presbyterian Church of Fayetteville, by the pastor, Rev. A. J. McKelway, on the Sunday of the funeral. The text was II. Timothy 4: 7, and the subject, “A well-rounded life.”
After speaking of the life of the Apostle Paul, its ceaseless activity in the Master's service, and especially its influence for good upon the world, the preacher said:
“It is impossible but that many minds have drawn the parallel intended. The life of that man of God whose loss we mourn to-day was a finished life. Last Sunday we prayed that he might be spared to us a few years longer. To-day we must feel that God had something better in store for him than a few years of increasing infirmity in this saddened world. His work had been done—done faithfully, well done. His last sermon was, like his life, a blessing. His memory is ‘like the benediction that follows after prayer.’ What matters it whether the life were lived in the eyes of men, the world looking on at the mighty conflict with sin and wrong, or whether it were lived quietly and unostentatiously, among peaceful scenes and loving friends and a devoted people? If only the work is done which God has given his servant to do, there waits for him the same welcome that greeted Paul. For all faithful ones there flows the river of the water of life, there blooms the tree of immortality;
and they shall see His face, and His name shall be in their foreheads, and they shall reign for ever and ever.
“There are two lessons that may always be drawn from such a life. First, God is just. The Lord is ‘the righteous judge.’ Paul, the servant of Christ, met his death at the hands of the monster, Nero. Did not a just God make a difference between Paul and Nero after death? Shall not a just God put a difference between this godly man, whose life was spent for others, and the man who leads a narrow, selfish life, injuring his fellows, a curse to the world?
“And there is also a lesson of inspiration to us to more faithful service, to more consecrated lives. There are virtues in his life which we may emulate. And it is worth all the self-denial of the Christian life, even if it were not also a life of joy; worth all the labor and the tears, the weariness and painfulness, the loss of earthly good, the responsibility for souls and churches, which is often almost overwhelming; worth the years of patient affliction and unceasing toil—to be able to say, at last, ‘I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me in that day.’ ”
Remarks by Rev. L. L. Nash D. D., of M. E. Church.
The highest praise that can be spoken of any man is to be able to say truthfully, “he was a good man.” When the pen of inspiration wrote the obituaries of some of the most eminent saints, a climax was reached when these words were written. To be a good man is the highest possible attainment.
Truly may we say of the venerable minister, whose death we all mourn to-day, that “he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith;” and through his long and faithful ministry “much people were added to the Lord.”
There is an altitude of excellence sometimes reached by rare characters, when all who know them love them; and when this high standard is attained the good man becomes common property. No church can claim him exclusively, and no one community can monopolize his excellence, or hold the good resulting from his life. Like the Lord Jesus, although He was by lineage and nationality a Jew, no one ever thinks of Him as a Jew. He was the Son of Man, and the whole race has an interest in Him. So is the good man, who for more than forty years stood in this community as an exponent of the Christian religion, the common property of all. He knew no race or creed in his efforts to bless his fellow-men. His long life is a living epistle known and read of all men.
It will be profitable to us, as well as honorable to his memory, to speak of some of his excellences.
The first of these we shall mention is, he was full of charity. His face was a mirror of his loving heart. His presence was a benediction. His smile was perennial, and like a sunbeam. It made one feel better all day for having met him in the morning. He found it a source of the highest joy to minister to suffering humanity. Wherever there was a human heart that sorrowed, or an eye that wept, it was his delight to go and offer the consolations of the gospel of peace. By the bedside of the dying he was wont to linger, that he might catch the last whisper from the departing soul and point the trembling spirit to the sinner's friend. He was a catholic Christian in the highest and best sense of the term.
His charity made him unselfish. It took no declaration from him to impress all who came in contact with him that he did not look on his own things, while he was forgetful of the things of others. He rejoiced at the happiness of all who were happy, and sympathized with all who were in affliction.
The second characteristic of this good man we shall notice is, his untiring industry. He would not be idle. He would have built up a parish if his lot had been cast among the Hottentots or the South Sea Islanders. His zeal in the service of his Lord was spontaneous. He could not lay down his work, or put off his armor. To serve his own generation by the will of God was his meat and drink. He said to me: “I gave up my parish and thought I would rest, but I found I could not. I saw too much to do, and I believe I have worked
harder since I tried to quit than I did before.” He could not be happy unless he was about his Father's business.
The next and last characteristic I shall notice is, his was a beautiful old age. Although he could say with the author of “The Last Leaf:”
- “The mossy marbles rest
- On the lips that he had pressed,
- In their bloom:
- And the names he loved to hear
- Had been carved for many a year
- On the tomb.”
Yet there was no gloom that darkened his cheerful spirit. No shadows fell across his pathway that were visible to others. If he had troubles he did not burden his friends with them. If there were any disappointments in his life they left no visible evidence of their existence. He truly fulfilled that characteristic of the righteous, spoken of by the Psalmist: “They shall bring forth fruit in old age.” His leaf did not wither to the last. His fruits of righteousness never failed; and now, he having passed out of sight, his work will follow him.
What a priceless heritage he has left to his children! No less priceless, however, to his church and Christianity, as well. As we gather around his bier, and think of his death, we can find no words more fit to express our thoughts than those of the Christian poet who sang:
- “How blest the righteous when he dies,
- When sinks the weary soul to rest;
- How mildly beam the closing eyes,
- How gently heaves the expiring breast.
- So fades the summer cloud away,
- So sinks the gale when storms are o'er;
- So gently shuts the eye of day,
- So dies a wave along the shore.
- Life's duty done, as sings the clay,
- Light from its load the Spirit flies,
- While heaven and earth combine to say,
- How blest the righteous when he dies.”
So died the Rev. Joseph C. Huske, D. D. Earth is poorer, but heaven is richer. He rests from his labors, and his works follow him.
From Sermon of Dr. Fairley.[note]
All of you, I am sure, will join me in the expression of regrets at the death of our esteemed and venerated friend, Rev. J. C. Huske, D. D.
Is there one in this community who does not feel it as a personal bereavement that so great and good a man is gone? Most deeply do we sympathize with the congregation of St. Thomas in the loss of their beloved and faithful Rector.
In the brief interval since his death there has been rising from every side, in perfect unison, a consentient testimony to his worth. Like every other blessing of God, its departure has revealed its value. Now, that men are to have him with them no more, they begin to realize in the loss of him what manner of man he was.
“A prince and a great man is fallen in Israel.”
Dr. Huske was possessed of natural and acquired endowments which admirably fitted him for great usefulness. He was a man of eminent piety, uniform consistency of conduct, and untiring diligence in everything he had to do. He was possessed of a most loving and tender heart, which seemed always ready to overflow with sympathy and affection, and a most guileless sympathy, which led every one who knew him to see at once that he was an Israelite indeed. He had a heart and a word for all classes and conditions. The responsibility and[note]
the pleasure of doing good to others was an abiding presence. His personality was a power. He exhibited his heart in his face. Not only among his own people, but those of other communions he was a favorite. A most delightful companion, to their homes was ever welcomed in the coming, and the parting was always too soon. He looked the soulful minister that he was. In their griefs he was such as the sorrowful wished to have near to them. His sympathies responded to every call, and often in the reaction they bore too hard upon himself. But who—let it be the child, the man of affairs, or the aged saint, having need of a pastor—but always bore with them the impression produced by the presence, the words, and especially the prayers of this servant of Christ.
In Dr. Huske, religion, patience and humility were ever associated in holy combination. Those who knew him intimately recall with grateful affection to-day the vein of perfectly chaste and innocent pleasantry which often ran through his conversations—the essential good nature and sound judgment which characterized his counsels, and the smile of sweet and tender benevolence which so uniformly lighted up his countenance.
We bear cheerful testimony of his constant faithfulness, and to the belief that his devoted life and labor has left its undying, saving influence on multitudes of souls which will be revealed in the great day.
Surely, such a life has not been without rewards. They may not have been of the character usually looked for in the world, but they have been many
and sweet in their enjoyment. The constant flow of peace in a soul in communion with God; the exquisite pleasure in an employment which constantly furnishes knowledge to the mind; the indescribable joys when souls are born into the kingdom, oh! these are rewards rich and full. Every minister of Christ has partaken of them, and has meat to eat that the world knows not of.
It is, however, in the future, where the rewards for faithful services are to be received. Upon these he has already entered.
Resolutions of Respect.
The committee—appointed at a recent meeting of the Confederate Veterans, Maj. A. A. McKethan commanding, to express the organization's sense of the loss sustained by the death of the lamented Rev. Dr. J. C. Huske—offer their heartfelt tribute to the virtues and graces of the life of honor and usefulness just closed. It was given to few men to serve God more nobly in his sacred office, or to do more for his fellow-man in all the walks of life. Soldier of the Cross, faithful toiler in his Master's work, shining light of the church—the grave has claimed them all. But the fruits of his spotless life are our heritage. May we cherish his memory and be worthy of his example.
We tender our cordial sympathies to the bereaved family, whom may God comfort in this sore affliction.
A. B. WILLIAMS,
J. T. MCKAY,
J. H. MYROVER.
INDEPENDENT LIGHT INFANTRY CO.,
FAYTTEVILLE, N. C.
This Company has frequently been called upon to mourn the loss of some one of its best friends and wisest counselors, but never in the whole course of its long and eventful career has it ever been called upon to surrender to Him who rules our destinies
one who was so dear to the hearts of every member of the Company as the Rev. Dr. Huske, who for more than twelve years held the office of chaplain of this organization. He was the especial friend of every young man in the Company; none knew him but to love and reverence him. His gentle, tender, loving nature drew them to him, and compelled them to do what was right, without a look of reproof, or a word of warning. It was a sweet pleasure to have him with us occasionally, and now that we are deprived of seeing him again in the flesh, our hearts are filled with sorrow, and we stand with bowed heads and bated breath while we write his name upon the roll of our illustrious dead.
Resolved 1. While we reverently bow to the will of Him who doeth all things well, whether His hands bless or chasten, we share in the universal sorrow caused by the passing away of the lamented Dr. J. C. Huske. In his death the church has lost a pillar of strength, society a noble exemplar, the suffering and the afflicted a kind and generous friend, the Company its best adviser and its beloved chaplain. Full of years and usefulness, he has laid the harness by, hearkening to the summons, “Come up higher,” and bearing his sheaves with him.
Resolved 2. With the tribute of our tears over the grave where his noble heart is forever stilled, we can say, “It is good to have known him, revered him, loved;” and, in the heartfelt sympathy which we tender the loved ones bereft of his counsel and presence, there is the comfort, promised of
God, when the upright man passes from our midst.
Resolved 3. That the Armory be draped in mourning for the space of thirty days; that a page upon the records of the Company be dedicated to his memory, and that a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family, and also be published in the Fayetteville Observer.
W. F. CAMPBELL,
J. C. VANN,
WHEREAS, It has pleased Almighty God in His All-wise Providence to call from labor to reward the soul of the departed, the Rev. Joseph Caldwell Huske, D. D., the Rector of St. Joseph's Church, Fayeville, N. C.; and
WHEREAS, The churches and congregations committed to his charge have sustained an irreparable loss; therefore be it
Resolved 1. That we bow in humble submission to the will of God, who alone is the author of life and death.
Resolved 2. That the congregation of St. Joseph's Church, whose devoted pastor and friend he was, feels deeply buried in sorrow at his sudden demise.
Resolved 3. That the town of Fayetteville has lost a good citizen, the colored people a true friend, the relatives a devoted and exemplary father, and the church an able exponent of true Christian doctrine.
Resolved 4. That his sudden and unexpected departure on the night of January 14, 1897, at a time
ST. THOMAS’ CHURCH, AT HYBERT HILL, NEAR FAYETTEVILLE, N. C.
when his aspirations ran so high, and his hopes were ripening into a glorious fruition, leaves the parish he loved so well without a head.
Resolved 5. That we will ever hold in sacred memory his life work, his spotless character and the deep interest, the tender love and the fatherly care he manifested for all who needed his services.
Resolved 6. That we tender the bereaved family our deepest sympathy in this sad hour of distress, and commend them to the care and protection of Him who is mighty to save.
Resolved 7. That a copy of these resolutions be sent to the family of the deceased, and also a copy to the Fayetteville Observer with the request to publish the same.
All of which is respectfully submitted,
GEO. H. WILLIAMS,
A. H. DUNN,
S. T. EVANS,
F. T. WILLISTON,
R. W. THAGGARD,
G. E. ELLIOTT,
Vestry of St. Joseph's Church.
Testimonials of Affection
FROM LOVING FRIENDS, PUBLISHED IN NEWSPAPERS AT THE TIME, AND MOSTLY INSERTED IN FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER, AND SIGNED BY INITIALS ONLY.
Joseph Caldwell Huske, fifth son of John Huske and Ann P. Tillinghast, his second wife, was born at Fayetteville on June 7, 1822, and died at Bordeaux, the residence of his son-in-law, James M. Pearce, Esq., near Fayetteville, on Thursday night, January 14, 1897, of peritonitis, after a short illness of less than two weeks, which the skill of the best medical talent, and the tender nursing of loving hands could only alleviate. And that, too, aided by the powerful will of the sufferer, put forth to the uttermost in the struggle with the last enemy.
Others have written and will write and speak of this distinguished man with abler pens, and at greater length, but none with more sincere admiration, honor and love than this writer, whose good fortune it was to know him for nearly fifty years.
Dr. Huske had all the advantages of birth, education, association and culture, which belonged to the best class of our people in the times “when the evil days come not.” And his life and character stand out to-day in bold relief as typical of the highest order of our former civilization.
Bountifully gifted by nature, he took an education readily, graduating at the University with distinction,
and soon thereafter consecrated his life to the service of his fellows by entering the ministry of the Episcopal Church. We say consecrated, for consecration it was. From the time he put on his robes of office, his whole mind, body and being were spent in thinking for, working for, suffering for others. No creed, color, class or condition ever made any difference with him. He was ready always, at all hours, to visit the sick, the poor, the sorrowing. He had the gracious gift of knowing how to say the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, and that other gift of priceless value—the ability and willingness to pour out his heart in sympathy with the distressed, with no gushing, but without measure, in genuine whole-souled sympathy; without which mere words are meaningless, and with which, words, proper words, are useless.
This sympathy was the chief characteristic of this priestly man, flowing from a strong nature, withont stint, in plain and simple speech. It came from the heart and went, as an arrow from the bow, to the heart of his fellows. It was the bond of union which bound him to the strong; the tender tie which made him one with the weak; the indissoluble cord which held him fast to the humble, and that nameless something—not esteem, not love, but nameless—which grappled with hooks stronger than steel the heart of woman. He was overflowing with sympathy, and this trait will be remembered longest and hallowed most by those who knew and loved him. Another trait of this, out of the common, man, was his simplicity. It marked his manner, his speech, his dress, his tastes,
removed all restraint of form, and placed him on terms of equality in any company.
With ear attuned to the tale of distress, he caught its slightest words, and gave—gave always—often of his scanty means, always of his limitless store of charity. Between him and the poor there was the perfect and thorough understanding of close fellowship. To them his loss is lamentable, irreparable. “He who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb,” and He only, can supply his place.
Next to the choice of this life-work, his most important step was his marriage to Margaret Kirkland Strange, only daughter of Judge Strange, on January 23, 1849, to whom were born seven sons and one daughter, all of whom survive him. This marriage he considered the greatest happiness of his life.
Dr. Huske was a scholarly man, as all his writings show. He was particularly fond of the Life and Works of Sir Walter Scott, and of the writings of some of the early English bishops. As a preacher he was eminently plain and practical, with an occasional burst of eloquence, when his feelings were aroused, which swept all things before it.
Of late years his habit was to speak off hand, and always with effect. His last sermon, delivered at St. Thomas’, December 27, 1896—was it prophetic?—had for its text the last verse of the Bible: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.” May we not take it as the parting blessing of this man of God. Not only to his hearers, or to those of his own church, but to every soul of this community, whom he loved and served
so well, and who returned his love with full measure. For surely no man who ever lived in Fayetteville had such universal love as he. Our town has had abler sons, measured by mere mental ability, greater sons, after the world's tape-line of greatness, but never as good a citizen as he. By the unanimous verdict of saint and sinner, he has done more good, real good, lasting, yes, everlasting good, than all the great and rich men who ever lived in this community.
Only a parish priest, he has been going in and out amongst us for forty-odd years, doing his duty, but doing it so thoroughly, so cheerfully, that jostling no one, we had come to look for his manly form and bright face on our streets, to feel his hearty hand-shake, to hear his cordial greetings, to listen to his prayers in the sick room and for the dying, as things of course.
What a glorious life was his. What a glorious ending. What more could mortal man desire? Surrounded by his family in the quiet of his country home, with eye undimmed, with step elastic, and head erect, with hands, head and heart full of his work for others, with all his faculties of body, mind and soul in full play, with harness on, he approached the “gloom-curtained door” with no misgivings, and passing its portals entered into rest.
Dr. Huske is dead!
“I heard a voice from heaven, saying unto me, Write from henceforth, blessed are the dead who die in the Lord, even so saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labors and their works do follow them.”
We received the account of the decease of this eminent and devoted servant of Christ after our paper was made up last month, and did not have even space to mention the fact. But we cannot let the occasion pass without paying our tribute to the memory of one so useful and so much beloved as he was.
Dr. Huske was truly “a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost.” The city of Fayetteville has lost a noble citizen in his death, while the church has lost an able, faithful, and devoted priest. It was a privilege to have known Dr. Huske. He was a typical man of the church. Her doctrine and teaching took hold upon his soul, and developed the ideal Christian man—a man who was the very soul of honor, and truth, and manly courage; in whose heart the genial flame of love was ever aglow, and whose highest joy on earth was to minister to the wants and welfare of his fellow-men in the name and stead of his divine and beloved Master. May he have peace and rest eternal!
A yearning for something beyond this life, something more than earth can give, is an instinct in man. No being, possessed of reasoning faculties, has ever been created who has not looked for it, and believed that
- “ ’Tis not the whole of life to live,
- Nor all of death to die.”
Even the boasted civilization of the nineteenth century does not excel the ages of antiquity in this respect. The doctrine of the immortality of the
soul has been held at all times, and though vaguely taught, still firmly believed in, and that being with whom the immortal part has to do, in a future existence, has been sought to be propitiated by some means, and the means have taken the form suggested, according to the intelligence of the worshipper of that greater or divine being; and not till Christ brought life and immortality to light were the mists and clouds of that belief completely dispelled; and it is the privilege of the Christian alone to say: “I know that my Redeemer liveth.” Men may philosophize about heaven, its location, the abode of the saints, or the prison houses of the lost, but he who doubts the future existence does violence to reason itself. The flower that springs at your feet, dies only to bloom in more perfect beauty, and the question, If a man die, shall he live again? might be answered by asking: Is man, who is endowed with that godlike principle, reason, less than the flowers of the field?
Ingersoll, in delivering a funeral oration beside the grave of his brother, asserted that “life is the narrow vale that separates between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities.” He meant to teach that this was “to be the all” and “all end here;” that the eyes that closed on to-day opened on no glad to-morrow, and that the faces that the grave hid from us were hidden forever; but the recurring spring, after winter's blasts, with the returning flowers, teaches us better than this. This instinct in man refuses to believe it, and the love in our breasts that is ever longing “for the touch of a vanished hand and the sound of a voice that is
still,” rejects such teachings. Life is the narrow vale that separates between the peaks of two eternities, the eternity of the past and the eternity of the future, but their peaks are not cold and barren, but are aglow with the sunlight of God's love and peopled by the happy faces of those who have gone before, and whose loving hands are now beckoning to us from a fairer and brighter shore. Amongst that happy throng is the face of that dear old man whom we all loved and venerated here, and whose death we so deeply deplore.
- “Were a star quenched on high,
- For ages would its light,
- Still travelling downward through the sky
- Beam on our mortal sight.
- So when a great one dies,
- For years, beyond our ken.
- The light he leaves behind him shines
- Upon the paths of men.
There are many people in Wilmington who will regret the death of Rev. Dr. Joseph C. Huske, of Fayetteville. He was long known here and had many friends who admired, venerated and loved him. He was indeed a Christian gentleman of a most noble type—gentle, kind, most affable, most considerate, most gracious, a man to trust, to esteem, to venerate. A distinguished alumnus of the University of North Carolina, a patriotic, ever true North Carolinian, a faithful, useful, devoted, able minister of Christ, full of years, doubtless fully prepared for the inevitable summons and the great change, he has fallen on sleep amid the tears and
deep sorrows of his town, and the sympathy and regrets of tens of thousands in North Carolina, in and outside of his communion. Why mourn or sorrow, or regret the departure of such a man so ready to meet his God—so filled with the spirit of love, of service, of consecration? “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” “Blessed are they that do His commandments.” For a true Christian—a man of God—to die is simply to depart and be with God. It is to doff the habiliments of flesh and to be clothed upon with immortality. It is to leave the crumbling tenement of clay and to enter into rest with full anointing and complete victory, to be forever with the Lord, and to enjoy endlessly companionship and love of the saints in glory. “Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is really no cause for lamentations or tears over the departure of a true disciple, a son of God, an heir of Heaven. While friends and loved ones may feel deeply bereaved, and all say,
- “But life is not so rich in things divine
- That it would part with a soul as thine.”
Yet there remain to all the comfortings of the gospel and the everlasting promises of the Eternal God. To-day we may well believe the good, good Doctor is in the heavenly land,
- “And his eyes behold
- Things that shall never, never be to mortal hearers told.”
Many will add their tribute of love and respect to what has already been said and written about our
friend, whose loss we so deeply feel, but none outside of his immediate family can regret his death more deeply, nor think of him more lovingly than myself. My parents taught me when a child to love Dr. Huske, and as I advanced to years of manhood, I learned how truly he was “a man of God.” I have seen him in many relations of life, in the abodes of the poor, in the houses of the wealthy, in the house of rejoicing, and by the dying, and none ever mistook him for aught, but the “man of God.”
I am not a member of that church which he especially loved and served, but he loved me, and thank God, he knew I loved him. He came freely and with hearty welcome into the houses of his fellow-citizens—brethren and friends, in the widest sense, they were of his. He loved them, they loved him. One of the dearest memories of my life is his loving words and prayers at my dying father's bedside. We mourn his death—why should we not? We have lost a friend, rich and poor, white and colored. He loved us all and we loved him. He set us an example that we can follow.
His was no theoretical life, but an every-day, practical Christian life. Why was it so successful? Because he tried to do his own duty—not another's, but his own towards God and man. We are the better that he has lived among us. He has taught us not only the truth of religion in its highest sense, but the joy and comfort and peace and beauty of the christian life, and the lesson of the Christian death. How gloriously was that shown
forth. In all that sorrowing throng not one from their heart could have uttered a word of doubt as to the future life of him whom we mourned. That was as certain as the eternal decrees. How happy such a life, how glorious such a death, what a legacy to leaveh is children, and above all, the Master's voice greeting him at the portals of Heaven's gate, “well done, good and faithful servant: * * enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Elijah, the man of faith and prophet of God, with Elisha, who became his successor in the prophetic office, stood on the bank of the river of Jordan. The prophet's work is done, and while patiently waiting the swinging low of the “chariot of fire and horses of fire” that are to bear him to the glory land, says to his companion, “Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee.” Solemn moments, a time at which one might naturally become disconcerted, but not so with Elisha. He said, “I pray thee let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” 2 Kings 2:9. In this hour, which to me is of deepest solemnity, and touched with the prevailing sense of loss going out from every home in the town on account of the death of Dr. Huske, I meekly and most humbly pray the Almighty Father to give me and to us all a portion of the spirit of that good man, who “walked with God” and is now at rest. My pen will not attempt a delineation of his spirit—it is honor to all; but, as one of the many who are under the influence of the hour, let me say that by
reason of the Holy Ghost ever abiding with Dr. Huske, his power was dynamic; noiseless, and without parade, but no less strong and deep. Of him it may be said, as was spoken by the man with whom Jacob “wrestled until the breaking of the day,” “for as a prince, hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Gen. 32:28. Providentially denied the privilege of attending the obsequies, I ask the honor of paying this tribute in memory of the man of God, whose light will ever shine. A great writer has said there is but one thing before which we ought to kneel—“Goodness.” The sons of Dr. Huske, who were my play-fellows in the days gone by, have my tenderest sympathy, and I thank God for their father's life.
JNO. C. TROY.
HAYMOUNT, SUNDAY, JAN. 17, 1897.
Letter of Resignation.
FAYETTEVILLE, N. C., March 17, 1887.
To the Wardens and Vestry of St. John's Church:
MY DEAR BRETHREN: My health is so utterly broken that I am no longer able to discharge the duties of the office I have so long held among you. And I have no hope of any material improvement of my health in the future, unless I am relieved entirely from the labors and cares of the pastoral office. I am constrained, therefore, by a sense of duty to the church, as well as to myself, to tender to you my resignation of the Rectorship of St. John's, to take effect Easter Monday next, asking your prompt acceptance of the same. I take this step with a sadness of heart which I cannot express. It severs a tie which has bound us together as pastor and people for now nearly thirty-six years. It brings to an end a relation in which I have been the object of a kindness and love that ever has been, and is now, far more precious to my heart than gems or stores of gold. It causes to perish a fondly cherished hope, and the only ambition of my life, which has ever been, that I might be permitted to serve at the altar of St. John's Church, Fayetteville, unto the end of my life. But it is a step which I think I ought to take; and I take it, however great the cost to myself. And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the Word of His grace, praying unto Him with all my heart for His
blessing upon each one of you members of the Vestry, and upon each member of the congregation, and, indeed, upon each soul in this community, without any exception whatsoever.
Your affectionate pastor,
J. C. HUSKE.
Upon the reception of this letter a meeting of the Vestry was called, and passed unanimously the following resolutions:
WHEREAS, Failing health has deprived the church for some time past of the valuable services of our beloved Rector, and may do so for some time to come; and, whereas, the urgent necessity of another resident minister among us is admitted by all (both for the relief of our Rector and the welfare of the church); and, whereas, with great grief at the apparent necessity for the step, our Rector has tendered his resignation, that the congregation might be free to fill his place; and, whereas, he has stated in his letter that he cannot hope for any material improvement in health until entirely relieved from the labors and cares of the pastorate; be it.
Resolved 1. That the Vestry are unwilling to accept the resignation of Dr. Huske, and he is hereby earnestly requested to withdraw the same.
Resolved 2. That he be tendered one year's absolute freedom from any and all kinds of parochial work; and he is hereby officially relieved from all the duties and cares incident to his office and work among us.
Resolved 3. That from Easter Monday next he shall receive $400 per year, payable quarterly.
Resolved 4. That steps be taken immediately to secure the services of an assistant Rector one year; and that the amount which can be offered him be ascertained by a canvass of the congregation.
Resolved 5. That the foregoing preamble and resolutions shall be submitted to a meeting of the congregation, and shall not be in force until ratified by them.
On motion of Mr. Broadfoot,
Resolved, That a meeting of the congregation be called Tuesday evening next, to pass upon the above resolutions and to take steps to secure the services of another minister.
In accordance with the resolutions of the Vestry, there was a meeting of the congregation held on Tuesday evening last, which ratified and confirmed, without a dissenting voice, the action of the Vestry.
Parting Injunction to Successor.
And now, my beloved brother, may the blessing of God be upon you and upon this people! May the blessing of God be upon you in a form of grace, which shall make you to them always a pastor and priest indeed! A “good shepherd that feedeth the flock,” a “good shepherd that giveth his life for the sheep,” that thinks, studies, meditates, watches, prays, loves, lives, is ready to die for God, for Christ, and for the souls of men! This prayer, you may well believe, comes from the bottom of my heart.
This people is my people, and their God is my God! I was born within sight of this house. I was baptized, confirmed, and first received the Holy Communion within these walls. I was ordained Deacon and married at this altar. The wife of my youth (now at rest in the bosom of Jesus in Paradise) was a lamb of this flock; our children are members of this fold. To many of these people I am bound by all the sweet and tender ties of kinship and affinity. The friends of my childhood and youth and manhood are here, living, or sleeping in yonder graveyard. Surely, this people is my people, their God my God.
For thirty-seven years I have gone in and out among this people as their pastor and priest. They have been kind to me ever; they have been forbearing towards me beyond measure. Amidst all the trials and difficulties of my office, during that long
tract of time, not one of them, not one of their dead, not one of the living, has ever spoken an unkind word to me, or done an unkind act towards me. My heart trembles within me oftentimes to think of it, for fear that I was not faithful to them, or it could not thus have been. Surely, this people is my people in the bonds of Christian love! I have baptized their children, and taught them the catechism. I have married their sons and daughters. I have ministered to them in sickness; stood by their dying beds. Oftentimes these hands have closed their eyes in death, and when, under the fiat of the Almighty, they have gone hence, one after another, in all that long course of time, I have buried them.
Memory stands to-day, looking back upon the past, with tears in her eyes—mingled tears of joy and of sorrow. I have rejoiced with them when they rejoiced, and wept with them when they wept. These things have knit my soul unto this people “in the bowels of Jesus Christ.”
I beseech you, therefore, by the mercies of God, I beseech you by the name and blood of Him that died for us, that you love this people “with a pure heart fervently.” I beseech you by the love of Christ, which I know constraineth you, that you “seek that which is lost, bring back that which is gone astray, bind up that which is broken, and strengthen that which is sick,” and pray for them always, without ceasing, before the Throne of God!
“And all the people shall say, Amen!”
Dedication St. Joseph's Church.
We announced yesterday the dedication of St. Joseph's Church and the arrival of the Rt. Rev. Dr. Watson, Bishop of East Carolina, who is to perform that solemn service, according to the rites of the Protestant Episcopal Church, to-morrow. As our town readers know, the church is the gift of the Diocese of East Carolina, in trust for the use of St. Joseph's colored congregation of this city, of Mrs. W. F. Cochran, of New York and Fayetteville, a charitable lady, whose munificent benefactions we have several times had occasion to chronicle.—Fayetteville Observer.
St. Joseph's Church (colored) was dedicated to the service of God by the Right Reverend Bishop Watson, yesterday morning at 11 o'clock.
The beautiful little church was early crowded by both white and colored, and by 11 o'clock there was not room for another soul, while hundreds were compelled to stand on the outside or return home.
At 11 o'clock the clergy, Bishop Watson and the Revs. T. M. N. George, of Newbern, and Isaac W. Hughes, of St. John's Parish, and Rev. W. M. Jackson (colored), of Wilmington, were met at the door of the church by the Vestrymen of St. Joseph's and escorted down the aisle to the chancel, the clergy chanting a psalm.
ST. JOSEPH'S CHURCH (COLORED), FAYETTEVILLE, N. C.
The instrument of donation was then read by Vestryman Geo. Williams, after which the service of consecration was performed.
Rev. Mr. George preached the dedication sermon, taking for his text, Jacob's Dream. It was a powerful discourse, beautiful in thought and expression.
After the second lesson of the regular morning service, the candidates for confirmation, twenty-two in number, kneeled at the altar, and were made members of the church by the Bishop. At the conclusion of this solemn ceremony, the Bishop delivered a brief, but striking address to the new members of the church. The allusions by both Bishop Watson and Mr. George to the late Dr. Huske, the founder of this church, were very beautiful and touching.
Mrs. W. F. Cochran, the donor of the church, and her daughter and all the members of the family of the late Dr. Huske, and many prominent church people witnessed the dedication ceremonies.
Just above the handsome font, a memorial to the late Dr. Huske, is a marble slab bearing the following inscription:
“This font was given as a memorial of the Rev. Joseph Caldwell Huske, D. D., first Rector of this parish, which he organized. A pastor revered and loved, Christ's faithful soldier and servant unto his life's end. Born June 7, 1822; died January 14, 1897.”
Another tablet bears the following inscription:
“St. Joseph's Church, erected 1896, to glory of God and for the comfort of all that seek Him. Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”—Rev. 22:21.
These are the last words of the Bible. They are a prayer of the ardent soul of St. John, who is called the “loving disciple,” whom the Church celebrates to-day, and who is called in five places, at least in his own gospel, “the disciple whom Jesus loved.”
These words are, as it were, the seal set to all the truth delivered in the book, relating, as it all does, to Jesus Christ, God's great Christmas gift to the world.
St. John says, in effect, may the gift of God to a lost world be received in the love of it, by every human soul! Amen! So be it!—the grace of our Lord Jesus rest!
This is that to which the whole Bible relates. This is that which the souls of prophets, apostles, evangelists, pastors and teachers dwelt upon in spirit, and revealed to man from the first prophecy of the seed of the woman, in Genesis, to the words going before the text, “I am the root and the offspring of David and the bright and morning star.”
The grace of our Lord Jesus rest. A gift indeed! The gift of God, “the giver of every good and perfect gift.” The gift of the Father of the spirits of all flesh, to the spirit in man.
There is no gift so perfect as this. This the crown and summary of all the gifts of God to
man, the babe of Bethlehem, the holy thing born of the virgin, the holy child Jesus.
For this is the King of heaven and earth, the King eternal, immortal, and in his person invisible, but yet as man, seen of angels and men, the foundation of grace to the souls of men, who, with gracious lips, invites him that is athirst to come and take of the water of life freely.
Jesus! What is He? Jesus, so named of the angel Gabriel before He was conceived in the womb of the Holy Virgin—“a name which is above every name.” What is He? this man great in himself and thronged with angels at every step, and clothed with mysteries!
St. John tells in his gospel. The Word of God, that was in the bosom of the Father, and that came out of the bosom of the Father and down into the world through the womb of the virgin, that He might be the fountain of blessing to a lost world.
“And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.”
Jesus is the Word made flesh—“a Saviour who is but the Lord” “God with us.” This is the gift of God. We ought to try to know it, that we may receive it heartily, “rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”
The fervor of St. John's soul and prayer was increased by the fact that he himself “knew this grace of God in truth.” He had leaned on the bosom of Jesus. That outward act was the symbol and sacrament of a great spiritual fact, viz. this,
that the soul of St. John had profound insight into the truth of the Incarnation, and so, also, full and deep participation in the grace of God to man thereby. He not only had a Saviour, but he knew, as most men do not, the Saviour whom he had. It was a sign of love—of his own love for Jesus, and the fruit of the love of Jesus for him; for himself knew well the order of the divine mystery of spiritual love.”
“We love Him because He first loved us.” It is LOVE that opens the mysteries of the grace of God. The cold intellect of man cannot come to know it. Oh, no! What men call the dry light of science, with a kind of self-satisfied assumption, as if it were the ultimate test of all truth, will never come to know this grace of Christ, because it is of a different order from anything within reach of their measuring rod. Judas Iscariot acted under the dry light. He cared for nothing but the bag, a thing which he could weigh and count and see with his eyes.
But St. John, with his eagle eye of faith, was much above Judas Iscariot. He looked upon Jesus through a lens of heaven as the gift of God to the heart of man.
His eagle eye saw into the mysteries of divine love. There is something greater, deeper in man than the intellect. It is “the spirit in man.” It is the image of God. It is that mysterious faculty in man which knows more than it can see with the material eye, which recognizes God as its mysterious maker by some intuitive perception and instinctive motion. It is that which responds to the
mystic touch of the spirit of God and makes men capable of communion with God.
Let the intellect and the eye take its bag of gold, because it can clutch it in the hand, and go its way into treason against moral truth; but give St. John, and all of his spirit, Christ the Incarnate word the gift of God to the heart of man, the life of the soul, the mystic comfort of men in for life or death, and he will go with his treasure unto death—be found as the cross, whereon, as St. Ignatius says, “his love is crucified,” while Judas, with his bag, will be found hanging, by his own hand.
All through the writings of St. John we see the fervency of his devotion to Christ, because of his knowledge of the grace of God in him. It was that grace of God which had given him his deep insight into and sense of the grace of God. And they that by divine love come to know the grace of Christ, are ever fervent in wishes and prayers, as St. John was in the text, that other men may become partakers of this grace, wherein they stand and which they so much enjoy.
They do not, as the men of earth, when they have found a hid treasure in a field, go and hide it away from other men, but they proclaim it and invite others to come and share with them in the glory of this grace.
The first and last word of St. John is of the love of God—the principle and fountain of the grace of God in Christ.
How beautiful the life of St. John. In his early manhood, little more than a youth, we find him leaning on the bosom of Jesus, basking in the sunshine
of the grace of God, which had shined forth to all men, and all his life after. We find him preaching and writing of the love of God, and in his extreme old age still praying with fervent soul that all men may have, with him, “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ” and thereby eternal life!
I said Christ himself—the fountain of grace, at which souls, thirsting for freedom from sin and an eternal life, may drink and be filled—was God's Christmas gift to mankind. And St. John's Christ mas gift—a gift that comes from the hand of one ninety to one hundred years old—is the prayer of the heart, that we all may know in our own souls, the grace of Christ.
This prayer is a gift better than gold; better than any gift which the richest on earth shall give at this season; better than the gift of princes, which shall make glad the royal house—holds this day. For it is “the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man that availeth much,” a man that knew the love of God by an heavenly intuition and a happy experience.
It is a prayer that each one of us may have personal knowledge of the grace of God—experience of the mystic gift of God, that fills not the hand with a bag of gold, but the soul with faith, love, peace, joy, trust in God, amid all the vicisitudes of mortal life and eternal life at last. “For the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”