The Most Reverend William Temple, Archbishop of York, delivered the first of his two William Belden Noble Lectures in the Memorial Chapel last night.
This lecture foundation, as pointed out be Dean Sperry, who introduced the speaker, was established in 1898 by the widow of William Belden Noble. The spirit of the foundation is based on the teachings of Phillips Brooks and the purpose is to arouse in young men an interest in the work of the ministry and the "joy of service for Christ and humanity." Each year to help accomplish this purpose men eminent in their field come to speak on subjects closely related to Christian theology and principles. Theodore Roosevelt '80, Wilfred Grenfell '10, and the Dean of St. Paul's, London, have been among the speakers in previous years.
Nature and Task of Church
The subject of the lecture last night was the "Nature and Task of the Christian Church." The nature of the church, D. Temple declared, is very malicable, with great opportunity within it for many forms of interpretation. That this is true is due to the fact that Christ on his Ascension left no book with definite rules and principles laid down for the Church, but rather left behind a group of disciples who formed a fellowship of religion which grew to become the Church.
Christ Not Original Founder
"Christ is not to be considered the original founder of the Church," Dr. Temple continued, "for it had long been continuos with the life of the Israelites. Indeed, here among this people was a true fellowship in religion." They even understood that salvation can not be realized by the individual alone, but can be attained better by community or church action.
In modern times, claimed Dr. Temple, the tasks of the Church are well defined. "Its main task is to be itself, that is, to be a fellowship of those who worship God in Christ. Since worship means the submission of the whole being to the object of worship and since ordinary methods are inadequate, true worship can only be attained through groups as stimulated in churches."
An Agent of Mercy
The Church must also act as an agent of mercy, thus expressing on earth the Infinite Love of God, and as a final task, it should bring to the hearts of men spiritual redemption and all expression of the Love of God.
Dr. Temple will deliver his second lecture, "Christian Theology and Modern Thought", in Memorial Chapel this evening at eight.