In June 2005, Peter Jensen, the Archbishop of Sydney, delivered the Inaugural T.C. Hammond Lectures at the Irish Church Missions, Dublin, Ireland.
The Quest of the Historical Hammond
In his last book, The New Creation, T C Hammond addresses the question of habit by using an illustration from the punctilious behaviour of Immanuel Kant: ‘It is said that housewives used to set their clocks by the daily appearance of Immanual (sic) Kant who started his walk at the same time and finished it within the same period of time each day.’ He goes on, ‘Incidentally. Of course, this circumstance establishes the fact that Kant was not a clergyman.’ (149)
I have to say that Hammond’s little aside gave me great pleasure. It is not much of a joke, I admit. But I have been labouring in my preparation of this lecture under the disadvantage of never having seen or heard him. It was close: another two or three years and our paths would have crossed. Of course, I know many people who knew him in Sydney, including two of his children; of course, I much appreciate Warren Nelson’s book; of course, I am familiar with his writings; but I never heard or met the man.
About him, stories abound. Only last weekend my friend Stuart Braga added this to my collection. Stuart has recently spoken to an elderly lady who remembers a visit by Hammond to her family in the 1920s. She was three, and in her impishness, offended her parents so severely as to merit a smack. Jumping into Hammond’s lap, despite the fact that she had only just met him, she pleaded with him ‘save my bottom!’. He did. It all fits with what people say; a man of infectious humour and warmth, who could inspire the trust of the young in a short space; a man who, during the same trip to Australia, took the then infant and eventually Archbishop of Sydney, Donald Robinson on his knee and taught him a chorus called ‘Down in the dumps I’ll never go’, which Robinson can still render.
It is not part of my brief to speak of T C Hammond in Ireland. For the main part, what I am going to say will concern his presence in Australia: I want to show you the nature of the gift you sent us. I want to remind you that you ought to honour his memory and live up to it in your generation. But here my lack of first hand experience is not just the sort of difficulty which is the lot of every historian. Rather, it is the unfortunate fact that the T C Hammond about which people spoke to me in my youth was the T C Hammond of his very last years in active ministry. The result is, that some of the stories about him and the judgements on him were unfavourably distorted.
Sometimes this is because the contribution of an eighty year old is not, generally speaking, going to be as sharp as that of a man in full strength. Thus, to quote Stuart Braga again (and I should indicate that he is full of admiration for Hammond), when Braga heard Hammond expound Romans in the early 1960s, his thought was of a ruin, but a magnificent ruin. Part of our diocesan tradition refers to the way in which T C was summoned back to teach theology at Moore College when D B Knox was ill in the late 1950s, and how Hammond’s style of lecturing contrasted so unfavourably with that of Knox. Likewise, those who had to endure Hammond’s seemingly unprepared chapel sermons four times a week for 45 minutes a time were not always appreciative.
Moreover, there is the matter of reading Hammond today. Of course you are all aware of the remarkable achievement of In Understanding Be Men, which remains in print seventy years after it was first published. But you should know, too, that he was always publishing, always broadcasting, always communicating always preaching. You can go back to books on church law and church history, of polemical theology, of philosophical theology, on apologetics, on ethics, on the Christian life. Indeed, in the last section of his life, after he arrived in Australia aged sixty, he published half a dozen significant books; and this in the midst of administering a College almost single-handed, being very active in Diocesan affairs, and being the Rector of a parish.
Let me say, however, that, in my view, much of this output is now almost unreadable. Intelligent students of Hammond would commend his last book, The New Creation, as perhaps his finest. I have a special interest in the subject matter of this book, but to me it has been almost impenetrable. I am not saying that the language is obscure. I believe that the problem is that he was so much in touch with the history of his subject and so precise in his argument that as the debate has moved on he has been left behind. The people with whom he is arguing are now so dated that there is little to be gained from resurrecting the debate in this form. Naturally, a representative of a theology which is perennial, Hammond had things to say of perennial interest; but the outward form is forbidding except to the most dedicated. Indeed, not all who own In Understanding Be Men, can claim to have read it thoroughly!
But the matter goes deeper than that. Let me illustrate my point by talking about the attitude of Broughton Knox to Hammond. Hammond’s successor at Moore College was Marcus Loane, later Archbishop. In 1958 he was made a bishop and he was succeeded by David Broughton Knox. In my view Knox was the most significant Principal that Moore has ever had; certainly his 26 years as Principal (to 1985) shaped the College and the Diocese of Sydney in ways impossible to anticipate when he acceded and with consequences even now difficult fully to predict. You could say, in short, that under him the College embraced Reformed and biblical theology in a new and powerful way. As the significance of the Diocese of Sydney as a resource for learned and evangelistic biblical Christianity grows, so too does the posthumous influence of Broughton Knox.
Knox on Hammond is two sided. In the first place, he used In Understanding Be Men as his text book for first year theology throughout his lengthy tenure as Principal and beyond, a period of almost thirty years. When I say it was his text book, I mean that he actually lectured on it and from it. We would all have it in class with us and he would turn us to a particular page and then comment on what was there. When I suggested replacing Hammond with something more modern, he demurred, plainly regarding it as the finest little introduction to systematic theology as yet available.
And yet, if you asked Knox’s students what he thought of Hammond’s book, the consensus would be that he was highly critical of it. Again and again he would dissent from what Hammond had to say; or leave it so far behind that it became an apparent irrelevance. He usually called the author, ‘the Archdeacon’, and I suppose most famously said on more than one occasion, ‘the Archdeacon must have been sea-sick when he wrote this’, with reference to the (only half-true) story that Hammond wrote the book on his voyage to Australia. (I ought to add that Hammond used to lecture on the Catholic-minded Bicknell, reputedly saying to his students, ‘I intend to spend time with Dr Bicknell in heaven talking about this point!’; Knox lectured on Hammond; Knox’s successor was not averse to lecturing on Knox; and the present Principal also uses his predecessor as a springboard for teaching doctrine).
Now there are several ways of reading this legacy. Knox was never a student of Hammond’s, though they were colleagues after the second world war. It is possible that Knox did his theological training in England precisely because his own Father had had a falling out with Hammond and his patron, Archbishop Mowll. To follow this up, we would need to look at Hammond as an ecclesiastical politician. It is true in any case, that not all the leaders of evangelicalism in Sydney were fervent admirers of Hammond. It may be that a sense of Australian nationalism was at stake here. In any case, in the 1950s Hammond took positions on political matters which were at the time, and since, questioned.
And yet, there is another side. In 1984, I arranged for an evening in honour of T C Hammond. Both his son Carl and his daughter Doris reminisced. We even heard a tape made long before by T C as he reminisced! I also invited D B Knox as the Principal to present a lecture on ‘The Theology of T C Hammond’. I can well remember his attitude to this invitation. It clearly set him thinking about his predecessor. To my surprise, given all that people had said about TC over the years; given the way in which Knox himself had been critical; given the new theological emphases which had entered the College subsequent to Hammond, he told me clearly how great a man Hammond was and the extent to which Broughton felt in his debt. Knox regarded him as the better man; of that I have no doubt. On the night itself he spoke with enthusiasm about Hammond as a man of great intellect and character, one who had never been replaced as far as Sydney was concerned.
The biography of Hammond is available to us all in Warren Nelson’s fine book. To that extent, it is absurd to talk about the quest of the historical Hammond. But the attitude of those who immediately followed Hammond has, to some extent obscured him from those of us who did not know him. I believe that, as with Knox, they took for granted the stature of the man and spoke more of his foibles than his strengths. They had to find their own way without him, and all powerful individuals provoke a diminishing re-assessment in the next generation. Each age has to fight its own battles.
But when Knox was asked directly about Hammond, his verdict was clear. His predecessor was a theological polymath, widely read, and blessed with a retentive memory; at home in the Bible, the Reformation, and in scholastic theology; fair-minded and courteous even in controversy; a man with an original turn of mind and so always worth listening to, even in those long sermons; ‘a very sanctified man, with great gifts used in a busy life’; in short, man to be reckoned with. I would say this – that Knox’s treatment of In Understanding Be Men did not arise from the weaknesses of the book; they arose because Knox himself was a creative thinker who needed to apply the faith of the Church of England to the new day which dawned for us all the in the 1960s. In God’s providence, Knox, not Hammond was the man for that hour; but as far as we in Sydney are concerned, Hammond was a man for his hour.
I have been thinking about and reading Hammond for several months now in a way that I have never done before. I am even reading the books hitherto considered impenetrable, and reading them with profit. In doing so, I have become more than a little disappointed that I never had the privilege of meeting him. Hence the little story with which I began. He was, I have been told by so many, a funny man. Here in the midst of a serious book on a serious subject, he cannot resist a joke. No one has ever mentioned it to me before: I have discovered all by myself. It is as if a fragment of his personality has come though for me, and, foolish though this is, I feel that I have met him personally at last.
Hammond the Theologian
Having cleared away some prejudices, I have found myself able to examine the Hammond theological legacy with greater respect. And this is just in time. Let me explain how the theology of T C Hammond has once again become news, forty year after his death.
Last year, in Melbourne, was held a symposium on the doctrine of the Trinity. Among the papers given was a presentation by the then Primate of Australia, Dr Peter Carnley, entitled, ‘Was T C Hammond an Arian?’ I ought to stress that Dr Carnley is a theologian, at present joint-chairman of ARCIC. He describes himself as a ‘progressive orthodox’ in theology. It may well be that you are finding it hard to determine whether you are more astonished at the charge implicit in the question, or the fact that it is raised forty years after the death of the person involved.
It would require another lecture to introduce you to the issues at stake in all this. Unfortunately, Dr Carnley has yet to provide a written version of his paper, although one is promised soon. Suffice to say that the whole debate arises from a report issued by the Doctrine Commission of the Diocese of Sydney in 1999, on the subject of subordination and the Trinity. The Report arose from a debate about the ordination of women to the priesthood, and whether the doctrine of the Trinity supports an egalitarian view of the relation between men and women. The Report argued that, with strong caveats, the word ‘subordination’ could be used as a part of the description of the relationship between the Father and the Son, although of course Arian subordinationism is heretical. In so doing, it referred to the position of T C Hammond, among others, and his words from In Understanding Be Men:
‘In short, the full Christian doctrine demands all three of the following:
(a) The Unity of the Godhead
(b) The full Deity of the Son…and the Spirit…and-
(c) The subordination of the Son and the Spirit to the Father’ (Part II, section III).
The Doctrine Commission Report came under heavy assault in a book by Dr Kevin Giles now of Melbourne. Dr Giles is a tireless campaigner for the ordination of women. Some time later the report was also assailed in a book by Dr Carnley. Both men made special mention of Hammond, recognising, perhaps more than we did, the significance of Hammond for the Diocese of Sydney and for world-wide evangelicalism. To Arianise Hammond is to say that the Intervarsity movement, the Diocese of Sydney and evangelicals everywhere, have been instructed in doctrine by an Arian theologian for seventy years. Indeed, given the influence of Hammond in Ireland and England long before he came to Australia, you could say for almost one hundred years.
Let me hasten to say that the Sydney Doctrine Commission gave careful consideration to these charges, and rejected them decisively. The use of the word ‘subordination’, carefully nuanced, although unusual in recent theology is one easy enough to establish in classical theology over the years, as, more importantly, is the doctrine of the eternal obedience of the Son, or the asymmetrical relationship of Son and Father. It is the egalitarian theologians who are more prone to innovation, and in greater danger of error. Interestingly, Dr Carnley is in print as supporting a notion of monarchy in the Trinity with an application to church government by Bishops. Dr Giles was quick to warn him against this, on the grounds that it supported the Sydney theologians!
More to the point, what can we say specifically of this charge against Hammond? As I say, Dr Carnley’s paper is not available in written form; but I do have some sense of the line he took from those who heard him and took careful notes. The grounds of his charge was this: that Hammond was deeply influenced by the federal theology which flourished in Ulster in his day, that federal theology begins with a legal covenant between God and Adam (rather than with the unconditional covenant of grace), that the God of creation tends thus to be separated from the God of redemption (exemplified in In Understanding Be Men), and hence federal theology slips easily into an Arianising trend, in which the Son is subordinate to the Father. I think that those of you with an acquaintance with the theology of James Torrance will recognise some of this; so too, according to Dr Carnley, the critique of federal theology in Karl Barth.
I await with eager anticipation the working out of all this in historical and theological terms in Dr Carnley’s printed paper. It ill-behoves this present Australian to comment on Irish theological history (and geography) without a great deal more knowledge than I possess. I suppose that there are a number of links to the chain that Dr Carnley is attempting to forge, links which I very much hope that Dr Carnley will secure before he claims to have made his case. One obvious difficulty is the need to explain how it is that Karl Barth himself endorses a form of subordinationism in the Church Dogmatics, saying at one point, ‘In His mode of being as the Son, He fulfils the divine subordination, just as the Father in his mode of being as the Father, fulfils the divine superiority’ (CD IV, 200-201).
Another link would be the precise definition of federal theology – I am not sure that it will do to rely so heavily on Barth and Torrance for this. Another would be the contention that federal theology in Ireland or elsewhere has an Arianising tendency. Another would be the connection between Hammond and Ulster – Dr Carnley seems to think that Hammond ‘imported federal theology into Australia from Ulster’, and that this has become the mind-set of the Diocese of Sydney, an assertion which, if he made it as he is reported to have done, is questionable in both parts. I must record that the Irish scholars I have consulted have expressed great surprise at the the equations made by Dr Carnley. That there was Arianism in parts of Irish Protestantism, they concede; that it was a result of federal theology they do not concede; nor have any ever heard of any connection with T C Hammond. Indeed, they would expect the contrary to be the case, given that the Unitarians wanted to distance themselves from such standards as the Westminster Confession.
Finally, I ought to point out that whatever T C Hammond taught about federal theology, under the influence of D B Knox and others, Moore has not accepted any recognisable version of it these forty years past. Here indeed is an ugly ditch to cross. These matters, however, await elucidation and I should make no further comment on them. What I may be able to contribute, however, is a sense of where T C Hammond is best located theologically. What do we best call him?
In the lecture I referred to earlier, Broughton Knox claims that he was primarily a philosophical rather than an exegetical theologian. Certainly he had impressive philosophical credentials, although by the time he came to Australia the philosophical idealism in which he had been trained was distinctly old-fashioned. This is, in part what gives his writings a sense of a conversation proceeding somewhere beyond the reader’s reach. Nonetheless, according to Knox, Hammond would have the view that you cannot be a systematic theologian without accomplishment in philosophy; Knox agreed, but he added his own characteristic rider: you cannot be a theologian if you are merely a philosopher. Hammond, of course, was too biblical to fall into that trap, but he paid more respect, in theory at least, to natural theology than Knox would. This comes out in his respect for the capacity of human reason: ‘Any barrister would have an easy task were he called upon to defend the actuality of the Resurrection in a court of law’ (p140 IUBM).
Knox makes another key point in this discussion. He sees Hammond as a deductive thinker rather than an inductive one. The results, he concedes, are much the same, but the way of handling the biblical text is different. Although Knox’s distinction is overdrawn, he has, I think put his finger on a matter of some significance. It helps explain why, although Moore College has flourished as a centre of evangelical learning since the days of the Archdeacon, it has not been through his disciples.
Even that is not quite true. To grasp the achievement of Hammond in Australia, you have to know a little about the state of affairs which he entered. To an extent unthinkable in England, but more obvious in the colonies, the fate of the Diocese was linked to its theological college. Under the influence of a brilliant and pious Welsh Principal, Nathaniel Jones, Moore had flourished in the early twentieth century. His successor D J Davies, also Welsh, also pious, also learned, stood for liberal evangelicalism. His tenure lasted from 1911 to 1935. By its end, the Diocese was poised to take one of two directions; the older men favoured conservative evangelicalism; the younger men favoured liberal evangelicalism. In a bruising episcopal election in 1933, the conservatives secured the appointment of the young English missionary Bishop H.W.K Mowll. When Davies died, Mowll appointed Hammond to Moore.
Mowll and Hammond made the most formidable team which the Diocese has ever experienced. The conservative evangelical nature of the Diocese was set for the remainder of the century and beyond. While Mowll engaged in massive church-planting work, Hammond threw himself both into Diocesan affairs and into ecclesiastical matters beyond the Diocese. His politics were not necessarily popular – indeed the rancour created by some episodes is still detectable – but his aim was to secure the Diocese for evangelicalism against liberalism and anglo-catholicism. He did it both through his teaching and through his mastery of the synodical process. He did it – not, of course on his own – far from it – by providing the intellectual mastery of the relevant subjects. The evangelicalism which he embraced and taught became the standard. In this, we are in fact his heirs, if not his disciples.
Then I return to the issue. Why not disciples? Knox makes another contribution. He observes that Hammond regarded the history and theology of the Prayer Book as foundational for theological students. Here, I think is the key to locating him theologically; here, too, a reason why there was never a school of ‘Hammondonians’. Let us discount the possibilities. Was he Catholic – either Roman or Anglo? No. Was he liberal, or even liberal evangelical? No. Was he a Barthian? No – he knew something of the early Barth, but differed from him concerning natural theology and the scriptures. Was he an Arminian? No – he respected the eighteenth century Arminians, but could not accept their emphasis on the human will, nor their view of predestination.
Was he a Keswick holiness man? No – he respected Keswick, but taught clearly against any idea of a second blessing or crisis sanctification. Was he a federal theologian? Well, it depends on what you think federal theology is, since in the end any theology based on the Bible will have to be covenantal. But I judge that the answer is negative. He quoted Charles Hodge and the Westminster Confession with approval, but as far as I can see, he did not teach a covenant of works, or strict limited atonement, and nor can you say that his theological writing has a covenantal framework. Let me put it this way: he drew on many sources, including representative and federal theology, but it would be difficult to claim that he taught a system of federal theology.
Well then, what was he? The answer is actually fairly straightforward. He was a churchman, self-consciously shaped by the Prayer Book and Articles as read in their sixteenth century context. Thus if you read his book The New Creation, you will see that in characteristic style he appeals to all sorts of authors, pre- and post-Reformation. In the final analysis, however, his treatment of matters such as sin and regeneration and conversion and faith and sanctification (let alone his beliefs about the sacraments) place him squarely in the Reformed camp, the very milieu from which the Prayer Book and Articles emerged. Is it Calvinism? You may answer affirmatively to that, but only because Calvin himself belongs to the greater tradition of the Reformed theology. I like Hammond’s own expression, ‘the moderate Calvinist view’ (IUBM 112). He said, with some justice: ‘The English Reformers were what would now be called Calvinists’ (IUBM 116).
He was, therefore, a churchman, convinced that the formularies and canons of the church can and should be read with a bias towards the theology of the sixteenth century English Reformation. In this he may have been right or wrong, especially in the details. But you would have to be sharp to defeat him in an argument on the matter; and in my view, his case is confirmed by the preference of his adversaries for the seventeenth century. In any event, when the Australian Church came to ratify a Constitution in 1961, there was a sense from Sydney that the Constitution safeguarded their understanding of the Reformation in doctrine and liturgy, that there was a sort of compact in which law would be the servant of doctrine. This, I think, was Hammond. It was as if to say: despite the fact that you are scorned and marginalised, on intellectual, historical and theological grounds, you have the rights to a place in the centre of the Church of England.
More – Hammond saw this as a fundamental gospel issue. His quarrel with Rome and with the Liberals occurred because he believed that their tenets so distorted the gospel that men and women would be lost in darkness and ignorance. His theology was intended to safeguard and promote the gospel.
But why no disciples? I would not say that Marcus Loane, his direct successor, was a disciple, although he occupied much the same ground. The point is, however, that the 1960s saw a renewed evangelicalism emerging, associated with men like John Stott and Jim Packer. At its very heart was an exposition of scripture which sounded a new note. At the same time, at Moore, Knox and his vice-Principal, Donald Robinson were forging a renewed theology, one which owed much to Calvin and Luther on the one hand and to an exegetical and expository biblical theology on the other.
Thus, what students who had heard both Hammond and then Knox remarked upon, was the way in which, while Hammond talked about theological authors, Knox continually interacted with the Bible, how the knowledge of God was the constant theme of his wrestling. Now is not the time to go into all this, but I believe that the approach of Knox and Robinson was absolutely vital for the continuance of evangelicalism in our part of the world. What I need to do, however, is set the record straight: at the time it looked as though they were departing from Hammond. I believe that what they were in fact doing was building on what Hammond had achieved, in saving Reformed evangelicalism from pietism on the one hand and liberalism and sacerdotalism on the other. He had given them immense confidence in the credentials of Anglican evangelicalism. If Sydney has any part to play in the future of evangelicalism, it will owe a considerable debt to T C Hammond. He was a Bible man and a gospel man and he insisted that this was the very genius of our Church.
But – and here we arrive at a critical juncture – the essence of Hammond is not that he was a theologian: he was first and foremost a pastor, and it is to that I now turn as I conclude.
Hammond the Pastor
Whether in Ireland or in Australia, T C Hammond’s name is associated with controversy and polemic. There was, of course, his life-time joust with Roman Catholicism; but he was equally determined to expose what he understood to be the errors of liberalism and Anglo- Catholicism. Moreover, he was willing to enter the lists against the highly sceptical and very able Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney, John Anderson, and to engage in written critiques of movements in philosophy, science and biblical scholarship which he regarded as inimical to the gospel.
All this may suggest that we are dealing with a quarrelsome and cantankerous man, unworthy of respect. Indeed, I believe that he forfeited support in some quarters because of such a reputation. Particularly today, when division appears to be the worst of all ecclesiastical crimes, Hammond seems to be an unworthy pastor. Not, indeed, an export of which Ireland should be proud; not one of the best of the sons of the Church of Ireland.
I believe that this is a serious misjudgement, and goes to the heart of whether we will benefit from Hammond’s legacy or not in our own day. Let me say, first of all, that those who knew him well testify to his personal warmth and grace. Knox remarks that he was very fair-minded and courteous; he had a fundamental commitment in polemical situations to setting out his opponents position to the very best of his ability. Donald Robinson speaks of his great humanity, his infinite patience, his pastoral gifts. The same person recollects the sight of this extremely busy man standing for long periods listening to, and counselling, a distressed man with spiritual and psychological burdens.
Knox says, and of course his record in Ireland shows, that he was above all an evangelist, that he engaged in controversy to defend the souls of those committed to him, and to bring about the salvation of his hearers. We think of polemics negatively; so they may be, but in this case they came from one who in Knox’s estimate, was ‘a great lover and liver of the Bible and the gospel’. If we are to follow Hammond it will not be enough to speak the truth; we must speak the truth in love.
It is this, of course, which explains a paradox about Hammond: how could a loyal churchman mix so readily with those of other denominations? The answer is that he was an evangelical first and an Anglican second. He was a controversialist as a necessity of gospel defence and proclamation; but he was also large hearted and inclusive even with those with whom he disagreed on matters such as baptism, church government and predestination. Were he merely a quarrelsome man, he could not have written In Understanding Be Men as a book for all evangelicals. He separated the essential from the non-essential and sought to combine evangelical energies for evangelism and the growth of the church. In this, of course, when we recognise what he owed to the English Reformation we see nothing alien, for the Christians of that era also hoped to make common cause with their fellow evangelicals. Denomination mattered – and surely matters – less than theological and spiritual affinity based on the word of God.
It is tragic that some draw away in distaste from what they see in Hammond. We see a man of rare gifts committed utterly to his Lord. We see a man who was prepared, like Luther and Calvin and Cranmer, to contest for the truth where the battle was at its fiercest. We see a man of immense courage, born of faith. We are never so courageous as when we are unpopular, when society is against us, when we must swim against the stream, when our names are vilified – and we still contend for the truth in a godly way. I fear that much of contemporary evangelicalism cares for its own good name rather than the truth of God’s word. When this occurs, the gospel will pass to others more worthy of it.
More than that. Hammond’s pastoral practice was thoroughly biblical at another key point where we have something to learn today. He knew that the contest was for both the hearts and minds of people, especially young people. Like all good evangelicals he knew that Christian experience was essential. But it was also vital to his pastoral practice that the intellectual side of the Christian be adequately tended. A diet of mindless choruses and trivial testimonies would not have satisfied him any more than it should satisfy us. He entered into the demanding task of exposing error and commending truth precisely because he knew that only thus could the gospel go forward. The true pastor cannot excuse himself from this burden.
According to his theology, therefore, unlike that of others, he was bound to give careful attention to contrary opinions and interact with them. Again and again, he warns students to be precise, to verify their references, to think hard about objections, to be willing to change if necessary. Evidence, reason, argument, these things mattered to Hammond – they forced him to engage, they led him to answers and positions which still contain possibilities for Christian faith and practice. On the question of inspiration, for example, he was more flexible, more empirical than is customary amongst later evangelicals. So, too, in the area of evolution and the age of the earth. At every point, as a result of his great learning, he is able to bring the perennial answers of classical theology to bear on modern problems. All this, let it be said when the ample resources of modern, world-wide evangelicalism had scarcely begun to be marshalled.
Caleb Down Under
The Church of Ireland was especially kind to Sydney in the twentieth century. You gave us three brilliant, unforgettable sons: before the first war, Everard Digges La Touche, evangelist, theologian, imperialist, a man whose memory was still fresh until only recently. He died with self-sacrificing heroism at Gallipoli. After the second war, Dr Alan Cole, missionary, teacher, man of prayer, loving pastor – he ministered to me in a special way when I became Archbishop. Thomas Chatterton Hammond, the man who pointed the young atheist Digges La Touche to Christ; the man who also baptised Alan Cole. I do not know those who stayed at home, but if the quality of those three was anything to go by, then the church must have many glories! You certainly have been adorned with remarkable men of God.
As you can see, in thinking of Hammond, my mind has gone to Caleb. Remember this noble character: ‘here I am today eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out…now then give me this hill country that the Lord promised me that day’ (Josh 14:10-12). Is the need of the gospel any less than in the days of Hammond whether in Ireland or Sydney? Is the church in either place flourishing and healthy? Hammond never retired from the ministry, though the sphere of his ministry changed. Until the end he emulated Caleb. He determined to give his energies and his intellect to the defence of the gospel where the battle was actually being waged. He did not engage in mock jousts with feeble foes. He stood for the Bible and for the gospel and he encouraged joint evangelical witness and action. He was not afraid to enter the politics of the church’s life and to help secure the place of the gospel even there. Above all he wanted to see sinners come to know the Saviour. The question for us is this: Are we doing to follow his godly example?