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and godly sincerity, THE GREAT TRUTHS OF OUR REDEMPTION, IMBODIED IN THE LOVE OF CHRIST.
Rich men, unless guided by the Gospel motive, will always exercise the privilege of choosing to themselves teachers who may regale their taste; but we, my friends of the City-Mission, should ever take good heed that the poor, who are in a peculiar manner committed unto us, should have the Gospel preached to them. We may indeed find no one qualified for our arduous work, in all respects. But in whatever else he may be deficient, let him be at least an effective preacher of the Gospel.
Among the causes why our public ministrations fail of due effect, it is not one of the least prominent, that our sermons are too often hastily prepared, amid the distractions and the perplexities of other duties. On this account, the office of a Free-Preacher and that of a City-Missionary, are in a great measure incompatible. It may well claim your serious consideration, whether the one should not be allowed to make the pulpit his chief sphere, and the other spend his strength, almost exclusively, in dispensing our alms, in breaking the bread of life from house to house, and in visiting with our benefits a multitude, in recesses that have not yet been explored, — a multitude whom we cannot hope to see within these walls, until their temporal and spiritual condition shall first be meliorated by some Gospel guide, who will go to them, and, implanting in their minds the Gospel motive, by the power of the Gospel compel them to come in.
But to whatever duties you may call them, — “Brethren, look ye out among you men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” (Acts vi. 3.) And let each ever bear in mind the character of the apostle of the Lord who penned our text, and who, in the capital of Syria, and in the capital of Pisidia, in the chief city of all Asia Minor, and in the chief city of Achaia, in the pride of Greece and in the emporium of the Western Empire, — by his toils in many a metropolis, by his faithful, powerful preaching of Christ crucified, and by the abundant success of his indefatigable labors, was the first, and is the best, model of a City-Missionary
2. IN ALL YOUR DELIBERATIONS, let the love of Christ have free course, as your great motive.
Our mission, my friends, has been popular, from its commencement. It has enlisted in its service not a few, who have been willing to spend and to be spent. It has won the hearty commendation of wise men after the flesh; for, to reclaim the ignorant, and feed the hungry, and wipe away the tear of human sorrow, are approved by many, who have no higher aim, than to relieve temporal distress. But our charity, we should remember, is not mere secular benevolence.
It becomes us, my mission friends, to look steadily at our object. In all the exercise of our kindness to our fellow-men, let us carry with us this great truth : that we do nothing, as God hath willed and commanded it to be done, * unless we extend some influence of the Gospel to the heart of every one whom we profess to serve. Let us relieve the suffering, and let us instruct the ignorant; but let it ever be our heart's desire and prayer, “that they may be saved.” For every one of them Christ died; and then only shall we have labored with effect, when we have taught them to love Christ unto the saving of their souls.
Hitherto, the spirit of the Gospel has prevailed throughout our mission. It is well, that all the meetings of our Society, and of our Managers, and of all our Committees, have begun and closed with prayer. It is well, that our missionary work has been done so much in a missionary way. The love of CHRIST has constrained the conductors and the teachers of our schools. To win souls is manifestly made their object. For this, they profess to teach their lambs of Christ's fold; not impelled by the philanthropy of novelists and poets, but by the motive of the Gospel. On this account, there are already in our schools some children of the very poorest of the poor, who have here imbibed a saving knowledge of redemption. A hallowed influence has issued from our missionary cause upon the Managers and the Committees of the Society. While occupied in conferring spiritual benefits on others, we have ourselves become partakers of the same gifts of grace. Some have here first caught the true spirit of missions. Some have here first made sacrifices for Christ's sake, and here first felt their hearts burn within them, as they have talked of Jesus by the way. And the thought may well come, with power, to the conscience of every one of us, Let me beware lest, providing for the salvation of others, I may myself be a cast-away!
* The 13th of our 39 ARTICLES OF RELIGIon, inculcates the Gospel motive, in very strong terms.
To all of you, my hearers, who have an interest in our good work, I would say, Come hither on the Lord's day, an hour before the stated time of public service.
Repair first to our INFANT School, well managed and altogether supported by its pious and efficient Ladies Board of Visiters : see on its register four hundred and seventy names ; and hear the heaven-born accents of those little children, out of whose mouth proceed songs of praise to Him who hath redeemed them. Then go to the apartment occupied by our SUNDAY School, with its register exhibiting five hundred and fifty names; then, into the room where our Adult Classes are assembled; then again to our LIBRARY AND READING Room: and learn something of the detail of our work of love. Amid the animating associations that must be awakened by the scene, O then think of being workers together with God, in effecting all these various operations, that are here reclaiming souls, which shall be washed, and sanctified, and justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Spirit of our God. And as the hour of public worship then draws nigb, come into our sanctuary. See here the mixed congregation in our FREE CHURCH; not the very poor alone, but here and there the members of some family who once saw better days; here an aged widow, and there one reclaimed from wretchedness and sitting in his right mind at the feet of Jesus. See this stranger, and that young man and young woman, who have repaired to our mart of business, to obtain an honest occupation or acquire the knowledge of a trade. And beside these, you may meet with some adults who were once children in our Sunday Schools, and were there taught to love our sanctuary privileges, so that they now value our Free Church as a most precious gift.
And as you see and hear all these, responding with their glow of earnestness in the devotions of our liturgy, then listen, with their.marked attention, to the simple but effective preaching of the Gospel by the Missionary whom God has given them. Reflect, that the same God of grace has so poured out his blessing on this station, that, during the year, thirty-seven persons have been added to the communion, who have for the first time commemorated the sacrifice of the death of Christ, and the benefits which we receive thereby; that several teachers have been here brought to CHRIST; that some have been led to give themselves to the ministry; and that many, who have few of the good things of this life for their consolation, have found here a far greater luxury in the Gospel preached to them. Then learn that all our arrangements at this station are complete, the poor provided with employment by our House of Industry; and, in our Daily and our Sunday Schools, at our stated Thursday Evening Lectures, and at our three services every Lord's day, — infants, youth, adults, instructed in the way of righte
— ousness, built up in our most holy faith, and fitted and prepared for heaven, as the ransomed people of the LORD.
O then lay your hand upon your heart, and ask, each for himself, What have I contributed to these results?
Am I not bound in duty, to do more for Christ than I have done, by winning for him some of the many destitute, not on a remote continent or island, but within the very circle of my daily walks?
God touch your hearts, my brethren, with the love of Christ, that you may give freely to our good work. God open to us the windows of heaven, and shower on us the influences of his Spirit, that our city may become the Zion of the LORD, and, like those ancient cities where the first outpourings of the Holy Ghost converted multitudes, be a type of that city which cometh down out of heaven from our God. (Rev. iii. 12.)
When your bodies, brethren, shall be sleeping in the dust, and your souls occupied amid those wonders of the spiritual world
that are yet unrevealed, even then our successors in the CityMission, (oh delightful thought !) may be still publishing the Gospel, and still winning souls.
The love of Christ constrain you now to honor him, by laying at his feet your treasures. In all you do, in all you give, be your motive, and your rich recompense, the love of Christ. And finally, be it your joy, with all the company of heaven, to laud and magnify his glorious name, evermore praising him, and saying, WORTHY IS THE LAMB THAT WAS SLAIN, TO RECEIVE POWER, AND RICHES, AND WISDOM, AND STRENGTH, AND HONOR, AND GLORY, AND BLESSING.
NEWYORK PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CITY.MISSION. In April, 1833, there were two STATIONS occupied by two Missionaries, the Rev. Benjamin C. Cutler, and the Rev. Lot Jones. The average number of attendants at the Mission-Church of the Holy Evangelists, in Vandewater-street, was about 700, and the communicants 106. At a room in North-street, near which it has been proposed to erect the Mission Church of the Epiphany, the attendants were about 200, and the communicants 30.
There were three Mission SUNDAY Schools: No. 1, in Vandewater-street, with 31 teachers, and 493 scholars ; No. 2, in Ridgestreet, with 10 teachers, and 97 scholars; No. 3, in North-street, with 19 teachers, and 98 scholars, in all, 60 teachers and 688 scholars. A Daily INFANT School, in Vandewater-street, under the superintendence of the Ladies' Board of Visiters, and conducted by two teachers, contained 476 names of children on its register, and recorded an average attendance of 160.
At the first Station LIBRARY, connected with the MissionChurch of the Holy Evangelists, the exchange of books, during the quarter which ended in March, was 4842, and the number of accounts 308. From the beginning of January to the close of March, there were 112 women furnished with work, who made 759 garments. A large number of men also were provided with employment.
The Journals of the Missionaries contain accounts of cases, calculated to set forth, in a very interesting manner, the true nature of the Mission, its importance in our community, and the blessed fruits, which, by the grace of God, it has already yielded.