"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
This first new book on Bishop Seabury in more than a decade, One, Catholic, and Apostolic: Samuel Seabury and the Early Episcopal Church is a fascinating story of the first bishop in the Episcopal church.
In 1783, Seabury was chosen by the clergy of Connecticut to seek ordination to the episcopate in England. After a year of negotiation, Seabury found it impossible to obtain Episcopal orders from the Church of England because, as an American citizen, he could not swear allegiance to the crown. He then turned to the non-juring bishops of the Episcopal church in Scotland and was ordained on November 14, 1784. As part of his negotiation with the Scottish bishops Seabury agreed to incorporate the Communion Service from the Scottish Prayer Book into a new American Prayer Book, thereby establishing a pivotal component in American Anglican Liturgy. When he returned to America, he was recognized as the first Bishop of Connecticut.
Using Seabury's persona and thought as central themes, distinguished historian and Bishop of Bethlehem (PA) Paul Marshall argues that liturgy cannot be understood simply by studying texts, and so he explores the complex personalities, motivations, loyalties and prejudices that went into the formation of the Episcopal church and the creation of its liturgy. (includes CD-ROM appendix.)