Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

most fine gold changed !" It is well be broken; the day is advancing; the known to you, my brethren, that the rays of the morning sun begin to gildi church in this country, for nearly half a the mountain tops. The trees of century, has been in a depressed and Lebanon lift up their weeping heads. desolate state. God, in his righteous From the holy hill of Zion, a voice is providence, las seen fit to visit her heard from the King of saints, saying with sore judgments. Many and great to his afflicted spouse, the church, bave been the calamities she has “ Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, passed through. Like her divine Sa- and the glory of the Lord is risen upon vour, she has been despised and reject- thee. For, behold, the darkness shall ed of men.

Her holy ordinances have cover the earth, and gross darkness been neglected, and her government the people : but the Lord shall arise and worship have been traduced. Many upon thee, and his glory shall be seen circumstances have conspired to re- upon thee. And the gentiles shall duce her low, and even to threaten come to thy light, and kings to the her existence. But, though her affilic. brightness of thy rising."

" The sons tion has been severe, and the opposi. of them that afficted thee shall come tion she has had to encounter, great and bending unto thee ; and all they that formidable ; yet, blessed be God, she despised thee shall bow themselves has not been wholly overcome. Even down at the soles of thy feet; and they in the most gloomy period there has shall call thee, The city of the Lord, been a righteous remnant, who have The Zion of the holy One of Israel.” perseveringly espoused her cause, and My brethren and friends, we are defended her against all the attacks of assembled in this holy place to call her enemies. Still, the church in this upon God; to invoke the presence country may be truly said, even now to and blessing of the great Head of the be clad in mourning. “ Zion stretcheth church ; to hear bis holy word, and forth her hands, and there are but few to consult on the best means of adlo comfort her. Her adversaries com- vancing the prosperity of that portion pass ber round on every side. The of the church committed to our care. ways of Zion mourn because so few With what profound reverence and come to ber solemn feasts. Her gates deep humility, should we enter these are desolate, ber priests sigh, ber vir- holy courts ! With what self-abasegins are afflicted, and she is in bitter. ment, and prostration of soul, should ness.” We have been taking a view we confess our sins and implore the of her desolations, and our eyes have divine mercy ! affected our hearts. We find many of Permit me, then, on this occasion, to the sanctuaries where our fathers wor. suggest a few thoughts, which I hope, shipped, now desolate and mouldering through the divine blessing, may be to dust. In many consecrated places, serviceable to us all. And first I would Where once the voice of praise and invite the attention of my reverend thanksgiving ascended to heaven from fathers and brethren in the ministry. a thousand tongues, now, no voice of Dear fellow labourers ! Would we praise is heard. Desolation breathes be instrumental in building up the around. No voice is heard but the Redeemer's kingdom, and in promotboarse wind, howling over our fathers” ing true practical piety in the hearts

of our fellow men? Then, first of all, But amidst this gloom and desolation, it becomes us at all times to feel, and å gleam of light and hope appears. acknowledge, our entire dependence •We see, or we seem to see the shadows on God, to aid, and bless our feeble passing away. The clouds appear to efforts.' Paul may plant, and Apollos

sepulchres.

water; but God alone must give the that real saving faith is nothing less, increase. Without Christ we can do than a cordial and unreserved submisnothing. Are we desirous to build up sion of heart, to the whole gospel of the walls of Zion, to repair the old Christ: that it works by love, prowaste places, and to restore the paths duces good works, purifies the heart

, to walk in; then we must build on and overcomes the world. With afthat foundation which is laid in Zion; fection and tender sensibility, we shall for other foundation can no man lay, declare the awful denunciations of di. than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. vine wrath against the workers of There is no other name under heaven iniquity; and the dreadful doom that given among men whereby we can be awaits the impenitent and unholy in saved. More particularly, would we the world to come. build up our languishing churches, en These are the great, fundamental, large the borders of the Redeemer's and distinguishing doctrines of the kingdom, and promote the salvation of bible. And they are the doctrines of the people committed to our charge, our church. For the first six hundred then we must faithfully, and affection- years after our Saviour's ascension, ately preach the gospel of Christ. We these doctrines were cordially receivmust, with enlightened zeal, and per- ed throughout the Christian world.severing fidelity declare the whole Although Arius and other hereticks atcounsel of God, whether men will tempted to counteract their influence ; hear, or whether they will forbear. yet they were firmly embraced, as We must, by all prudent means, lead the doctrines of the gospel, by all the our hearers into an influential and followers of Christ. Many, with their practical belief of the humbling doc. dying breath, have confessed their be. trines of the cross. To this end, we lief in these doctrines, and sealed with shall lead them to form correct and their heart's blood, their attachment scriptural views of the character of to them. God and themselves. First of all, we But for wise reasons, unknown to us, shall inculcate the scriptural doctrine the great Head of the church permitted of the trinity in unity ; the supreme tares to spring up among the wheat. divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and Through the instrumentality of popery, the divinity and personality of the and by other means, the church be. Holy Spirit

. Then we shall teach the came gradually corrupted. The pure doctrine of human depravity, and the doctrines of the gospel 'were obscured, natural alienation of the heart from and a darkness that might be felt

, God. From this, we shall show the overspread the moral and intellectual necessity of the atonement of Christ world. But though cast down, the lo expiate human guilt, and the in- church has not been destroyed. There Huences of the Holy Spirit to renew never was a time, in the most gloomy and sanctify the heart.

season, when there were not seven We shall daily impress upon our thousand that did not bow the knee to hearers the necessity of repentance Baal. Like the flaming bush which towards God, and faith in the Lord Moses saw, though continually burning, Jesus Christ, and a life of holy obe- the church has not been consumed. dience to his commands. We shall show It is now nearly three hundred years our people, from the word of truth, that since she emerged from the dark re: uue repentance is the turning of the gions of popery and superstition, and heart, froin the love and practice of assumed 'her present primitive and of sin, to love and serve God. And scriptural form. Let us, then, with

pious zeal and undaunted courage de. Therefore we must never sleep upon fend her noble bulwarks, and repair our post; but with faithful vigilance be all her waste places.

always ready to give warning of apSecondly. But if we would ef- proaching danger. The faithful watchfectually build up the walls of Zion, man will deliver his own soul. He enlarge her borders, and strengthen will never

never daub with untempered her stakes, we must be aware of the mortar.

He will never cry peace, opposition we have to encounter. peace, when there is no peace to the

Mysterious are the dispensations of wicked. divine providence. God can, and often We are ministers of Christ, and does, bring good out of evil. He can stewards of the mysteries of God. cause even the wrath of man to praise It is required in stewards that a man him, and restrain the remainder thereof. be found faithful. Let us, then, with We are assured that all things shall hearts glowing with the love of Christ, work together for good to those who and with an abiding impression of the love God.

worth of souls, be instant in season, Therefore, my brethren, we need and out of season; and with wisdom, not fear. The church is safe. God prudence, meekness, and tenderness, lives, and Zion must prosper. The reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all gates of hell shall never prevail against long-suffering and doctrine. it. Let us then take courage and Thirdly. But while we faithfully stand up to our work. Relying for preach the gospel, and inculcate the aid, on the great captain of our salva- doctrines of the church, let us by no tion, let us gird on the whole armour of means lose sight of any of her distinGod, and fight manfully under his guishing beauties, and characteristick banner. We live in an interesting day. excellences. It is our happiness to The prince of darkness is mustering belong to a church, founded by Christ all his forces. He is putting into and his apostles; and by the agency motion every machine, and every in- of the Holy Spirit continued to the strument that he can command, to present day. It is our bounden duty support his tottering throne.

to defend her sacred formularies, and In such a day as this, it highly be to transmit them unimpaired to the comes those, who are set as watchmen latest generation. Let us live near to on the walls of Zion to be awake and God, and by prayer and supplication engaged; to lift up their voice like a make known our desires to him. We trumpet; to cry aloud, and spare not, can neither study, nor preach, nor perto show the people their sins and their form any ministerial duty with propri. transgressions, to warn them of their ety and effect, without constantly seekdanger, and excite them to flee from ing divine assistance. While with one the wrath to come. Motives, solemn hand we wield the pen in defence of as eternity, impel us to make every truth, let the other be raised to heaven possible exertion to alarm the thought. with fervent aspirations, that we may less, to awaken the stupid, to reform be led into all truth. Above all, let us the vicious, to comfort the feeble mind- preach by a holy example. Let us ed, and promote pure and undefiled show by our life and conversation, that religion through the world. Our eter. the doctrines we preach have an abidnal destiny and the destinies of those ing influence upon our

own hearts. committed to our care, are in a great The ministers of Christ are not to redegree suspended on the fidelity with semble sign-posts, that merely show which we perform the all-important passengers the right way, while they duties of the sacred office. We are walk not in it themselves. Nor are set as watchmen on the walls of Zion, they to resemble the scribes and

[ocr errors]

pbarisees who bound heavy burdens, plorable condition of many of our and grievous to be borne, and laid churches in this country ; could you them on men's shoulders, but would hear the earnest request of thousands not move them with one of their fin- and tens of thousands for missionary gers. But “in all things, approving aid ; your hearts would be pained with. ourselves as the ministers of God; by in you: you could never rest until pureness, by knowledge, by long-suf- you had made every effort to the exfering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost; tent of your ability, to impart to them by love unfeigned; by the word of the word of life. From Maine to Mistruth; by the power of God; by an souri, the cry echoes and re-echoes, armour of righteousness, on the right “come over and help us.". The fields hand and on the left; by honour and are white already to the harvest; but dishonour ; by evil report and good the labourers are few. We need at report; as sorrowful, yet always re- this moment, in addition to what we joicing; as poor, yet making many now have, three hundred pious, able rich; as having nothing, and possessing clergymen, and fifty thousand prayer all things.”

books, in order to supply our vacant In the second place, I would invite churches, and form new societies that the attention of my brethren the laity. might be immediately collected. Never, And first, If the ministers of the gos- since the settlement of this country, pel are to take the lead in this glorious has the call for missionary exertions in work, they are not to stand alone. our church been so loud and pressing They need, and I trust will have, your as it is now. And shall this call be co-operation, your prayers, and your heard by us in vain ? Can we turn efforts. Nehemiab would never have away our ears, and harden our hearts succeeded in repairing the walls of against the intreaties and tears of our Jerusalem, without the united and friends-of our brethren ? persevering efforts of all his friends. Can we, while other denominations • Then I told them,” he says, “ of the of Christians are contributing, very hand of my God, which was good upon largely to send their missionaries to me; and also the words of the king every part of the globe, “ fold our arms, which he had spoken unto me.

Then and close our eyes,

and they said, let us rise and build. So more sleep, a little more slumber, a they strengthened their hands for this little more folding of the hands to good work.

sleep?" Undoubtedly, you are aware, that Secondly. I would further observe, many of our churches in this diocese, that we have every encouragement to and especially in this commonwealth exert ourselves in behalf of our destiare in a depressed and languishing con- tute brethren. The pious zeal they dition. They demand our immediate exhibit, to do all in their power to help attention. The people in our destitute themselves, and the earnest solicitude parishes manifest a strong desire to they manifest for aid and assistance, enjoy the means of grace, and are certainly entitles them to our respect willing to do all in their power to sup- and liberality. My brethren, the port a clergyman; but they are desti- Episcopal church in this country is tute of adequate means. Could they awaking from her slumbers, and arising for a short time be supplied by mis. from the long night of depression and sionary efforts; they would probably, adversity. The old prejudices, that in a few years, be able to support the have so long fettered the minds of the gospel by their own exertions. Could American people, are fast vanishing you, my respected hearers, take a per. away. Men are beginning to read spective view of the destitute and de- and examine for themselves; and the

cry

a little

vour.

result is favourable to the church. The Lord Jesus Christ, “*

go ye into all rapid increase of the church evinces, the world, and disciple all nations, that the publick sentiment is in her fa- baptizing them in the name of the

More has been done within Father, and of the Son, and of the three years past, to advance her in. Holy Ghost ?” What means the moterests and extend her influence, than mentous declaration, “ there is none has been done for many years before. other name under heaven given among The united and simultaneous voice of men whereby we can be saved," but the friends of our communion, through that of Jesus Christ of Nazareth ? the country, appears to be," let us rise In a word, what means the whole gosup and build, that we be no more a re- pel of Christ—the entire word of God ?

proach.” Although much has been if mankind can be saved' without the Ć done, by many pious individuals of our gospel, why has a divine revelation

church, yet much more remains to be been given? done. We have done enough to show But while we commiserate the de. us the importance and practicability plorable condition of heathen nations, of making greater efforts. At such a and contribute of our abundance to time as this, let it be impressed on the send them the gospel, let us ever bear mind of every member of our church, in mind that charity begins first at that we are called to humble, diligent, home. In many whole counties and and persevering exertions. Missiona- large districts within the United States, ries must be sent, and they must be there are no sabbaths; no sanctuaries; supported. Large sums are immedi- none to show them the way of salvation. ately wanted to carry on this pious Can a single heart be unimpressed, or and benevolent work. Let all the a single hand idle, while such calls for members of our church consider them. compassion abound ? No, my friends, selves called upon, in their several these obligations, I trust, are too strong stations, to do something for Christ. not to be felt : these calls too solemn More than six hundred millions of our not to be heard. Be intreated, then, fellow men are

sunk in heathenish with one consent to come forward to darkness, depravity, and wretchedness. the help of the Lord; to unite heart They have no well grounded hope; and hand in building up the walls of they are without God in the world. Zion, and promoting the prosperity of They are perishing for lack of know. that church, for which Christ shed his ledge. They are constantly depart. precious blood. Embrace every oping this life, and taking up their abode portunity, to the extent of your ability, with all the nations that forget God. to increase the funds of the missionary

The heathen need the gospel; society, and to send bibles, prayer. there is no other remedy for them. If books, and religious tracts to the poor the gospel is worth any thing to us, it and destitute. In these labours of love is equally valuable to them. They let none refuse to join. We hail it, as can no more be saved without it, than the prelude to the glorious millennium,

It is an impious dream of that pious females are more exteninfidelity, that ought to be chased from sively engaged, and actively useful in the earth, down to the place from building up the church, than at any

sprung, that God has design- former period of the world. Let them ed different religions for different na- go forward with increasing activity and tions. If this be true; what mean the zeal, in this delightful work; so worsolemn denunciations of his holy word, thy of women professing godliness, and so numerous, so tremendous, against so beneficial to the church of God. all idolatry, and all idolaters ? What And let them, by precept, as well as means the great commission of our by example, train up their daughters in

ADVOCATE, VOL. II.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

we can.

whence it

32

« PoprzedniaDalej »