Journal — 1832

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HELD IN MACON ON THE 7, 8 & 9th of MAY.




Preached at the opening of the same, on Sunday Morning,
MAY 6, 1832.









Macon, Geo.
Monday, May 7, 1832.
In accordance with a resolution passed at the last Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the Diocese of Georgia, appointing this day and place for the next annual meeting of the same, several clergymen and lay-delegates attended at half past 10 o’clock.
Morning prayer was conducted by the Rev. Edw. Neufville, Rector of Christ Church, Savannah, and a discourse delivered by the Rev. T. B. Bartow, of Christ Church, St. Simon’s Island, who also preached the Convention sermon yesterday.
The Rev. Edward Neufville, as President of the last convention, was called to the chair, pro. tem. and Wm. P. Hunter, Esq. acted as Secretary pro. tem.
The certificates of Lay-delegation were presented, examined and approved, by a committee appointed for the purpose, who reported that Dr. J. B. Read, and Hon. C. B. Strong, from Christ Church, Savannah; Dr. Ambrose Baber, Wm. P. Hunter, and Robert A. Beall, Esqrs from Christ Church, Macon, were duly appointed delegates to the present convention.


The Convention then proceeded to the election of officers, which resulted as follows:
Rev. Edward Neufville, President; Wm. P. Hunter, Secretary; and Dr. J. B. Read, Treasurer.
On motion, it was resolved, That the same rules of order, adopted by previous conventions of this Diocese, be adopted as the rules of order for the present convention.
The Convention then adjourned until the next morning at half past 10 o’clock.
Tuesday, May 8, 1832.
The Convention met this day agreeably to adjournment, when after divine service conducted by the Rev. T. B. Bartow, and a sermon delivered by the Rev. Edward Neufville; the minutes of yesterday’s meeting were read, and the following parochial reports were made.
Baptisms, 3 adults, 19 infants, 22; Marriages, 5; Funerals, 19; Last report 80; Communicants added, 18; died, 6—Present number 92.
Rev. Hugh Smith, late Rector of this Church, has lately removed to Hartford, Con. The Rev. Edward E. Ford, of the Diocese of New-Jersey, has received and accepted, an invitation to succeed him, and is daily expected to enter upon the duties of his office.
Marriages, 9; Funerals, 10; Baptisms, (adults) 2, children, (white) 28, do. coloured, 1—31; Communi-


cants, died, 3; withdrawn, 3; removed, 4; added, 32;–138.
From the preceding statement it will be found that the addition to the communion has been larger within the past, than any preceding year since the present incumbent took charge of this church.
For the manifestation of the divine favor thus furnished, he would express his gratitude to the author of every good and perfect gift, and call upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity to rejoice with him, to thank God and take courage to hope that this will be a station from which the salvation of God “shall go forth as brightness.”
There have occurred in this parish during the last year, 1 funeral; 1 marriage; 6 baptisms; 11 communicants; added, from the meeting of the last Convention, 4.
The edifice of the church is now undergoing a thorough repair. The Bible class continues to be well attended, and promises much usefulness.
The Sunday-School is so small as to be conducted by the Rector without the assistance of Teachers.—There is manifested an eager desire for religious instruction on the part of the blacks, and an increasing attention to the duties of the Sabbath.
“It is a day of small things with us, but God will not despise it.” The Rector is encouraged to hope that the infant piety of this beloved parish is the dawning of a brighter day.


Report; That their diligent endeavors to procure the services of a Resident minister, have thus far been unsuccessful. Their destitution is the more to be lamented, because without the services of a minister, many of those among us who prefer the Church modification of Christian service, have been constrained to unite with others in their public devotion whose forms are less acceptable, not from a want of true Christian piety, but the absence of that method which had received and continues to command their preference from early impression.
As this portion of the State is not often visited by ministers of our Church from abroad, they are probably ignorant of the field of usefulness which is here presented. Although the means of our congregation would at first be limited, an adequate support would be afforded to the minister who might be settled among us, and it would be increased in proportion to the success with which his labors were blessed.
We do not despair, trusting to the promise made by the Author of all good, “That where two or three are gathered together in my name, I will be in the midst of them to bless them.”—We will continue our efforts to obtain a minister yet a little longer, humbly beseeching the Almighty, that he may be pleased soon to send among us one who may be mighty in building up the desolations of Zion.
The Standing Committee then read the following Report:–
The Standing Committee of the Diocese of Georgia beg leave to report to the Convention, that during the


last year they have granted the necessary testimonials to the Rev. T. B. Bartow, recommending him to the Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina, for Priest’s orders, which he has accordingly received. They concurred in the recommendation of Rev. L. S. Ives, Bishop Elect of North Carolina, and forwarded the usual certificate.
They did not act in the cases of Rev. B. B. Smith and Rev. Charles McIlvaine, in reference to the Episcopates of Kentucky and Ohio respectively—not deeming themselves sufficiently acquainted with all the facts connected with the election of those gentlemen.
Letters dismissory to the Diocese of Connecticut have been granted to Rev. Hugh Smith, Rector elect of Christ Church, Hartford.
All which is respectfully submitted,
EDW. NEUFVILLE, President.
J. Bond Read, Secretary.

The Report of the Treasurer of the Conventions was then read.
The Treasurer of the Protestant Episcopal Society for the general advancement of Christianity in Georgia reported, that there is now in the Treasury, the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars.
On motion, These Reports were accepted, and ordered on file.
Resolved, That the Treasurer be authorized to collect the sum of Fifteen dollars, from each Church represented in this Convention, for defraying the incidental expenses of the convention, agreeably to the provisions of the 4th canon of the Protestant Episcopal Church in this Diocese.


Resolved, That the thanks of the Convention be presented to the Rev. T. B. Bartow, for his able, appropriate, and impressive sermon, delivered on the last Sabbath, and that he be requested to furnish a copy of the same for publication to be affixed to the journal of the proceedings of this Convention, and that Judge Strong and Dr. Baber, be a committee to communicate the above, who, having retired for that purpose, shortly after reported the assent of Mr. Bartow.
Resolved, That the lay members of the Standing Committee (who have hitherto been taken from different parts of the Diocese) be in future appointed in the same city or town or part of the diocese, and that the selection be made from the Residents of that place where the following Convention is to be held.
Resolved, That the seventh article of the Constitution be so amended as that at every meeting of the Convention, in the absence of a Bishop, the senior resident presbyter of the Diocese, shall be ex-officio, president of the convention.
The Convention then proceeded to elect a Standing Committee for the ensuing year, when the Rev. E. Neufville, Rev. T. B. Bartow, Dr. J. B. Read, Dr. Theo. Bartow, and W. B. Bulloch, Esqr. were chosen.
Resolved, That the Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Augusta, be added to the Standing Committee, so soon as he shall have been canonically received as a minister of the Diocese.
The following gentlemen were then elected Delegates to the General Convention.
Rev. Edward Neufville, and Rev. T. B. Bartow, of the clergy: Hon. Geo. Jones, Dr. J.B. Read and I. G. Seymour, Esq. of the Laity.


The Convention then adjourned until the next morning at half-past 10 o’clock.
Wednesday, May 9, 1832.
Agreeably to adjournment, the Convention met; Divine service was conducted by the Rev. Edward Neufville, and a sermon delivered by the Rev. Mr. Bartow; the minutes of the preceding meetings were read.
The annual report of the Protestant Episcopal Society, was then read as follows:–“The Protestant Episcopal Society for the general advancement of Christianity in the State of Georgia, has nothing material to report to the Convention.
Efforts have been made within the past year, to secure the services of one or more Missionaries, who might be usefully and successfully employed in gathering congregations in the upper parts of the State.—There are several stations at wbich the scattered members of our communion would gladly rally around the standard of the Church, if it were set up.
A congregation organized some years since at Macon, are very anxious to secure the services of a minister, who would at once unite their hearts, and strengthen their hands to build a house of worship. They have already purchased a lot for this purpose, and have funds in hand for the commencement of the pious work.
The town of Macon contains 3,500 inhabitants, and is considered a healthy place, being situated in a high and hilly country, and possessing all the advantages of a northern climate. The situation is highly desirable for any zealous man who may be disposed to build up the desolations of Zion, without entering in-


to other men’s labours, and, as such we beg leave to commend it to the attention of the Clergy generally.
EDW. NEUFVILLE, President.

It was then on motion, Resolved, That the Report of the Society, just read, be accepted, and printed with the journals of the convention.
Resolved, That the Rev. Edward Neufville be appointed a Trustee of the Protestant Episcopal Seminary of the United States, for the Diocese of Georgia.
Resolved, That the Rev. T. B. Bartow and Wm. P. Hunter, be appointed a committee to contract for and superintend the printing of 200 copies of the journal of this Convention.
Resolved, That the next annual Convention be held in Christ Church, Savannah, on the second Monday after Easter Monday, in the year 1833, and that the Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Augusta, be, and he is hereby appointed to preach the usual sermon.
After prayer by the President, the Convention adjourned.
EDW. NEUFVILLE, President.
Wm. P. Hunter, Secretary.






EZEKIEL.—Chap. XXXIII. 7,8, and 9 vs.
“So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shall hear the word at my mouth and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die, if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way; that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way, to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered thy soul.”
The commissioned Ministers of grace have a duty imposed on them, of which man is not worthy. A creature of yesterday is appointed to declare unto his fellows, the will of “the High and Mighty One that inhabiteth eternity.” A mortal, with death and judgment in prospect, is chosen to publish the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven to his fellow-mortals, with whom he is borne on the bosom of the same stream towards the same boundless ocean. Standing upon the verge of eternity, he casts his prospective glance into that untrodden land illuminated by the light of revelation, and pointing the telescope of faith to the various parts of its field, he announces the intimations that come to him from thence. Exploring the regions of woe, where the hand of Omnipotence presses its burden of tribulation and anguish upon the unhappy


sufferer, while thousands of centuries roll away and bring no end and no mitigation, he must proclaim to the great majority of his species, who are hastening thither with mad infatuation, the ruin that awaits them unless they repent. Looking to the regions of immortal blessedness, where purity and holiness and love and praise and spiritual excellence form the character of every spirit, he must warn the men of an evil and sinful generation, that unless these features also distinguish them, they can never be admitted there—and if admitted they could bear no part in the praises and employments of Heaven, but would voluntarily seek the congenial society of the wicked. In the face of the painfulness and disgust which these representations never fail to excite in the unrenewed mind, he must unmask the human heart and expose its deformity. Amidst all its windings and coverings and duplicity, he must detect its secret enmity to God and goodness; or if he have not the ability to trace this aversion in all its varieties—to paint with accuracy the hidden workings of the inner man—he must still proclaim the unwelcome truth, that man’s heart is evil only and that continually; and his best righteousness but “filthy rags.” However rough and unpleasant may be his work, however unfashionable and offensive may be this language, in kindness to his fellow creatures he must inform them of this disease, and in duty to his master, he must do it faithfully.
It is also his duty, to point out the steps by which a sinner is brought out of nature’s darkness into the light of the Gospel. To describe with exactness the sure process by which every inquirer may find an interest in Christ and an assurance of future happiness. He must describe the features of the Christian charac-


ter in such broad relief, as may plainly mark off the peculiar people who love Christ and keep his commandments, from those nominal professors, who seek only their own pleasure. Though he meet with the scorn and contempt of the men of the world, he is still a watchman upon the walls and must warn them from his master. Though he be followed by the hatred and reproach of false brethren, he must not keep back from them the whole counsel of God. Though from all quarters there be cast upon him, the charge of mysticism and fanaticism, he must still hold on his steadfast and his fearless way. And should even the lowliest and most despised of his flock die in ignorance of the only name given under heaven whereby man may be saved; in ignorance of the sanctifying spirit, who alone can give them a meetness for heaven; their doom may be just and of their own choosing, but their blood will be required at the watchman’s hand. And if, through the neglect of the minister of Christ, the humblest individual should perish unwarned, the retribution af our text would have its course. For God is no respecter of persons, and the angels are waiting to rejoice over every sinner that repenteth. Now should the preacher, too sensible of the disgust which the preaching of the cross excites in a large proportion of his hearers, should he cease to dwell on the only way in which God can be merciful and yet be just; should he fail to urge on their notice and belief, that divine influence which must renew our souls in the image of God; and neglecting to descant on man’s ruined nature, should he humour the fondness of his audience for ease and luxury, by all the arts of elegant composition, and turning away from what is called in the language of the day, but cant and methodism; should


he amuse their fancy by the graces of a polished orator, and spread over their minds the delusive confidence of “peace, peace, when there was no peace,” doubly treacherous. Like the votary of Islamism, he would administer an opiate, which all day long should fill his patient with the ecstacies and the imaginations of paradise, but at night, would leave him a prey to horror and despair. So this hireling servant of a heavenly master, would wear away the day of salvation in gay frivolity, and suffer his hearers to go down to death, without the hopes and consolations of the Gospel; suffer them to struggle through the last darkness, without the hope of forgiveness to cheer them, without the knowledge of that blood which speaketh peace to the fearful and cleanseth from all sin; suffer them to meet the judgment without that robe of everlasting righteousness which should have been their glory and their protection forever; to meet Him that sitteth upon the throne, without that preparation of heart, which alone would render him their delight, and to shrink away in hatred and blasphemy, which shall fill up their cup of misery throughout eternity.
If such consequences are to flow from the preacher’s neglect, then most righteously may his criminal omission be visited by his master’s displeasure. Therefore, “woe be to him, if he preach not the Gospel.” His own salvation depends upon it. Thus saith the Lord, “When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man thou shalt surely die, if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way; that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, if he do not turn from his way, he shall


die in his iniquity, but thou hast delivered they soul.” The fate of the wicked, may be the same in either case. Their infatuation may be the same with the gospel or without it, and their guilt neither exaggerated nor diminished by the preacher’s neglect.—Though if the minister of Christ do not preach the Gospel to them, he is responsible for all the consequences; but if he deliver God’s message faithfully, he is responsible for none of them. His hearers may listen to the preaching of the word and still live on, each in the desire of his own heart and in the sight of his own eyes, as if there was no God who had a right to his love and service; as if there was no revelation to teach him his duty; as if no precious blood had been shed to redeem him from the unalterable consequences of sin; as if no spirit had been sent into the world to refit him for the heaven from which he had been banished. Each may slumber on in the death of trespasses and sins, and refuse to be awakened, unless by the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God. Or, they may hear and believe the Gospel may come home to them “in the Holy Ghost and in power and in much assurance;” and they be convinced of sin and of their need of a Saviour: and they may love Jesus and keep his commandments, and by turning away from every sin, and combating every evil propensity may manifest to the world that a real change has taken place, and by patience and forbearance and forgiveness and unwearied labour for the good of others, may approve themselves true disciples.
And what words can express the joy and gladness with which a minister contemplates such an event? for these are to be his glory and crown of rejoicing at the last day. How rapturous to think, that while


he himself makes one of that happy throng of blessed spirits that raise the song of gratitude to the Saviour’s throne, he shall be surrounded by a joyful multitude who recognize him as the instrument of their deliverance, and while all form but one cluster of jewels in the Saviour’s crown, the faithful minister shall shine, the central brilliant of the splendid circle.
That minister then is untrue to his duty, who neglects the very humblest of his flock—untrue to the example of his great master. The Saviour left the society of Heaven, where the honors of Deity were given to him, where all was love and joy and purity, and came to earth to seek and to save those that were lost; and amid the loathsome and disgusting habitations of sinners, did he labor to inspire them with the light and the liberty of heaven.—While nought but contempt and reproach and abuse were heaped upon him, he persevered, with a love that no ingratitude could quench, no suffering change, until he had “overcome the sharpness of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.” And that servant who would follow his example must enter the dwelling places of misery, and undismayed by all the suspicion and resistance which will meet him, must teach their inmates the principles of the Gospel, and labour to “spiritualize them to a meetness for the inheritance of the Saints.”
We must now advert to another specialty of our text. “So thou, O Son of man, I have set thee a watchman.” The son of man is the chosen watchman. One involved in the same condemnation, is the selected messenger to his species, not only that the excellency of the power may be of God, but also that the message may be the better understood. Had an


angel been selected to preach the Gospel, it would not have been so intelligible. The want of a common nature and common sympathies, his very purity and elevation above us, would form obstacles to communication. An illiterate man can in general address an ignorant audience with better effect than the learned—And just as the invisible and spiritual Deity had to take upon him the form of man before we could understand him, and by showing himself to us in human features and addressing us in human language, and by partaking of the wants and weaknesses of humanity and by sympathising in our woe, convinced us that he knew how to pity us, and taught us what a God we had to deal with—so by choosing man as his messenger of grace, to carry home to us the tidings of salvation by the channel of human feelings and human passions, though the revelation may have lost much of its heavenly character, yet he has narrowed the distance by which heaven and earth are separated, and fitted his counsels for a more ready entrance into our minds. When the multitude of the heavenly hosts were sent to publish the glad tidings of the Saviour’s birth, they announced, “Peace on earth and good will to me.” This was the Gospel from the lips of angels. But the Gospel in this shape, would be effectual to turn but few from the error of this way. Yet when it takes the colour and force of human passions, when “it saves by fear, making a difference” along with the pardon which it offers, it causes men to feel so forcibly their ruined and lost condition without this redemption, as to make them doubt the reality of the pardon. It lifts the cry of John the Baptist, “Flee from the wrath to come.” And from the terrors of an avenging Deity; And from the fear of


coming vengeance, and from the threatenings which have been uttered against transgressors, rouses men to renounce their sins, and from the servile and selfish motive to fear, to seek to serve God; and turning from their evil deeds and earnestly repenting, at length they are blessed with the light of the Gospel. Having felt the awfulness of the danger, they now feel the value of deliverance; a deep impression is made upon the mind, which lasts through life; while they have reached an eminence from which they look down at their groundless fears and suspicions, and can find nothing in their hearts but love and gratitude and adoration, and all those pure and elevated motives, which assimilate men to angels and fit them for the friendships and enjoyments of heaven.
Now this is the exact process by which many sinners are turned from Satan unto God. Nor must the preaching of those who conduct it be esteemed deceptive or insincere. While men remain in their natural blindness and uncertainty, their views of Deity are necessarily erroneous; while their minds and their affections are darkened and hardened by sin, they are incapable of purity of motive; and the selfish motives of fear and interest are the only ones by which they can be led on to the knowledge of the truth—In a state where all is error and distance from the true way, it is unavoidable, that no step can be made at once in that way; but these are the only steps which lead to that way. The announcement of the angels was substantially correct; they had come from God: they knew his real disposition towards this rebellious world, but the tidings of “good will to man” fell perfectly powerless. It is true, that by those who are in alarm and anxiety and desolation, by those who are bereft of


every support and have nothing to cling to, the offer of affection would be eagerly met; undissembled love would be gladly reciprocated.
But to a people who are unconcerned about God, who live in secret distrust or in open blasphemy; a message of His good will would be disregarded, and not of sufficient power to produce a single movement. The terrors of the law are in general, the only effectual spur to repentance; an anxiety to flee from the wrath to come, is the moving principle of reformation; a state of earnestness and disquietude is the proper preparation to receive the Gospel.
But even if we were authorized to present the Gospel to you only in one form, without, as St. Jude expresses it, “making a difference,”—if we could be silent upon the first preacher’s doctrine, that “he that hath not the Son, hath not life, and the wrath of God abideth on him;” and could we tell you only, that God is love, that he loves even his enemies, that he feels no anger and indignation in a human sense: if it were true, that all the descriptions we have heard of his wrath and vengeance, were but the significant terms of human language to express the intensity of future suffering: even if we could go still farther and assure you, that both Adam’s sin in paradise and your own many and willful sins were all forgiven; that the unknown sufferings which awaited the sinner had been laid upon one that was mighty and able to bear them; that in dying on the cross for the sins of the whole world, Christ had saved you from punishment, and by obeying God’s law for you he had justified you in the sight of God; that the mantle of Christ’s righteousness hid all your guilt and you were at liberty to approach with boldness and confidence to the throne


of grace. If all this were true of every one of you, yet this alone would not be sufficient. Christ must be also a Saviour from sin, or all the rest will be of no avail. Unless through the channel of his mediatorship, there descend a divine influence to purify you from every stain; unless in answer to the prayer of faith, you be gradually delivered from all the sinful habits and evil passions of our nature, you will be as far as ever from the salvation you desire. The minister of Christ may publish to you a full and a free forgiveness for all the past, he may unfold the wondrous scheme in virtue of which God nobly offers to pass over all your transgressions. But if this message be not received in faith and produce not love and obedience and holiness, a salvation from punishment cannot make you happy—Sin is misery—Sin and suffering are inseparable, and if you be not delivered from your sins, they will make you wretched forever.
When the disembodied spirit of him who dies in his iniquity, shall come into the immediate presence of God, the contact of the evil and polluted soul with the pure and holy spirit of Omnipotence; the meeting of such opposite extremes, must be terrible to the agonized and consuming wretch. In vain shall he call upon the rocks and mountains to hide him from the presence. He would not love when love was possible, and there is not hope now, that the hour of probation is passed away; while he lived veiled in flesh and in a twilight of God’s presence, he refused to be gradually transformed into his image, and now by the sudden transition to its meridian splendour, he endures the torments of the second death. So that God’s love and God’s forgiveness and God’s wish to save us may all become of no avail. If love to God take up its resi-


dence in our heart, it will give us a meetness for heaven. We cannot be forced to love, we cannot be terrified to love—love is free; it must be voluntarily. And this is the only power to expel sin from the heart; this is the leaven that must leaven the whole. Beloved friends, if you are conscious that you have not this love, you have cause to be alarmed for your safety. Every hour that you delay to seek it, your salvation becomes more unlikely. The evil habits that rule you are daily growing stronger and stronger. If you neglect the great salvation to-day, there is the more probability that you will do so to-morrow. With each passing week you are retrograding from the desired happiness. The voice of conscience is becoming fainter and fainter; the compunctions of remorse are growing less and less; while a few short months will bring this existence to a close, and if you die in your sins, where God and where Christ is you can never come. “Now is the accepted time—now is the day of salvation.”
Thirdly. Having spoke of the duty of the watchman upon the walls of Zion, we must now proceed to discharge a part of that duty by directing your attention to the present prospects of the Church in this diocese.
Brethren of the Convention, there are arguments of encouragement even in the smallness and weakness of our Church. In such circumstances the church has ever been the most pure, and her servants the most devoted. The first disciples, without human support, without strength, without eloquence, contended single handed against the world, and by prayer, by humility, by patience, by meekness, by charity, triumphed over the power of Rome, the learning of Greece, the


obstinacy of the Jews. Then the faith, the zeal, the sanctity of the church were great and glorious. But when christianity was risen into power; when kings were the nursing fathers and queens the nursing mothers of the church and christians became followers of the Lion instead of the Lamb—then was a sad reverse! The sun-shine produced a drouth. The professors of our religion grew earthly minded, and covetous of wealth and power—the church became corrupt and wordly, and its glory departed. “Sweet are the uses of adversity.”
With a liturgy which has met the approbation of the excellent of the earth from its first day until now; it is a matter of rejoicing, that the prayers in which the venerable martyrs of the Reformation addressed the throne of grace should still be ours: it is a privilege that those antique, inimitably beautiful, and almost inspired prayers, should still be the vehicle of our aspirations. At the fires of piety which then burned resplendent, we may kindle our flames of devotion; by partaking of the spirit of those great and generous and fearless men, our hearts must be filled with noble enthusiasm, our faith strengthened and our piety refreshed. Without a shadow of complaint at individual invention or individual caprice; with every advantage of concerted agreement as to what we shall ask, and of united worship; be it our care to press assiduously at the throne of grace “the fervent and effectual prayer which availeth much.”—Not in the spirit of the unregenerate disciples “Lord wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom unto Israel, and grant unto us to sit, one on thy right hand and the other on thy left, in a temporal dominion.” But in the spirit of those same disciples after the day of


Pentecost “Lord, do thou extend the triumphs of the cross until the peace and the purity and the piety of thy religion shall banish sin and wickedness from our beloved land; until thy kingdom which is not of this world shall come in every heart; until every home and every family shall be a holy temple unto Thee.” O my brethren, if the followers of our Lord were fully alive to their high vocation; if they looked upon the world in its broad grand division of the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness; if they realized their duty to turn men from the power of Satan unto the fold of the Saviour. If I say, this were strongly felt; the preaching of themselves and of their party; the strifes and animosities which now disfigure and disgrace the christian Church, would disappear for very shame and shrink into nothingness, and Christ crucified would be all their theme.—Instead of solely sounding forth the praises of their own sect and magnifying the faults of others; instead of insisting on their own sole rectitude and condemning all who differ from them; instead of cherishing the heart-burnings and contentions and jealousies which are the crying sins of the christians of our day—they would make common cause in behalf of those who know not the Gospel. This is the true means of success: to preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; to cultivate those affections of love and fellowship for all christians, “by which all men shall know that we are Christ’s disciples and by which we ourselves shall know that we have passed from death unto life.” This is the true way to advance our church; this is to secure the blessing of God; this is to dig deep and to lay the foundation upon a rock. But to build our hope of security upon the prejudices and antipathies of a party; to appeal to the fastidiousness of refinement, for


our permanency or our increase, is to cultivate those roots of bitterness which we must labor to destoy. This is to avert the divine blessing, and without foundation to build upon the sand. The advancement of our church depends much upon the character of its ministers. The way to speak to their people with effect, is to be superior to them in piety. Their lives must be sermons, and the great principles they teach must animate all their actions. Then their public ministrations will avail; their kind attentions and friendly advice will avail; their prayers at the death bed and the funeral will avail; the books which they recommend will avail; their dependence upon God and their fervent prayers in private will avail; nor is it possible to calculate what a salutary influence these united applications will exert, even upon those circles of fashion where religion is a proscribed subject and where the tone of levity and frivolity which prevail there, is so utterly at variance with the whole spirit and tenor of religion, that even to introduce the topic would be a profanation: where the piety, of which their hearts should be full, and from whose fullness their mouths should speak, is neither in their thoughts nor conversation but for an hour on the sabbath, and is then dismissed from both for one week more. But the prosperity of the church depends more upon the prayers of its members, than upon the labours of its ministers, and particularly, upon the prayers of its female members. It is true of the male sex in general, that they have either a determined hostility to vital religion, or such a conformity to the world as brings forth no fruit to perfection. But women are in every place the hope of the church; there is, in an assembly of women, more faith, more


humility, more fervency, more love than in any other assembly on earth. It has been justly observed that “if Christianity were to be banished from the world, if it had left the halls of science and the haunts of business, its last altar would be in female hearts, its last preacher, a mother to her children.” Alas! that any professor of that sex should live amidst the pleasures and the vanities of the world; that they who should show forth the praises of Him that hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light; that they who are the temples of the Holy Ghost and the spirit of our God dwelleth in them; that they of whom such dignity, such purity, such sobriety are required, should be a sinful conformity to the world thus degrade themselves. This is a sight to make the angels weep.
Lastly. It remains that we bestow a few words upon the Holy Communion, which we are about to celebrate. And who, we would inquire, are qualified to partake this Sacrament?
None but those, who in the language of the Apostle, are born from above, and are partakers of the divine nature. For those who are strangers to that change of heart and newness of life, which is indispensable to salvation; for those who are not genuine disciples, to come forward to this Sacrament, is to swear a false oath; is to “lie not unto men, but unto God.”
Yet those who come not, are not hereby acquitted. They are inexcusable for not being truly Christians, they are condemned already because of unbelief; they have lived a life of resistance, of rebellion against God. From the commencement of their moral agency, He has been saying to them, “Now is the accept-


ed time—now is the day of salvation” At the first hour when they heard the Gospel, they should have submitted to its power, and become the children of God. By persisting in unbelief they have grieved God’s spirit, and rendered their conversion more unlikely: and if they go down to death impenitent, they will have committed that sin, for which there is no forgiveness in this world, nor is that which is to come. And here we cannot but remark upon a very general mistake, long prevalent, that the object of our preaching is to persuade men to unite themselves to the Church; and an appeal upon the subject of personal religion is usually answered by a declaration of unfitness to approach the communion.—And so vague and loose an understanding prevails regarding this matter, that it is positively a snare to a false profession: nor can our preaching dissipate the illusion; nor can any thing dissipate it in those who know not the power of faith, except the influences of that spirit who dispels spiritual blindness, and enables men to look to the Lamb of God and be renewed, as all the poisoned Israelites who looked at the Brazen Serpent, immediately were made whole.
This sacrament is equivalent to an oath, by which we become sworn followers of Christ, through evil report, and through good report, through life and through death. We here pledge eternal fidelity to him. Here with one Lord, one faith, one baptism, we, the children of one pilgrimage, members of one celestial family, journeying to one heavely home; meet at our Father’s table, with our hearts bound together in the bonds of an everlasting covenant, to eat the bread of life, and “to drink into one Spirit.” We come to adore the glory and beauty of


the Saviour we come to renew our covenant with him; we come to get forgiveness for all the past; we come to pray for our enemies; to get the victory over our besetting sins: we come, calling on God, to witness that we have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts; that we have put away pride, and hatred, and revenge; that we seek more holiness, more love, more humility, more zeal, more devotedness to his service. We are met to commemorate an achievement, in comparison of which all the deeds of wonder and renown before which this world bows down in adoration, dwindle into insignificance, and “hide their diminished heads:” The death of the son of God, to save our world. To change the aspect of this earth, which now lifts the voice of rebellion and blasphemy against the most High, and in their place, to surround the great Father of all, with one wide and glorious family, where each shall reflect his image, and share his happiness.
“This do,” said the “Saviour, in remembrance of me.” And does he ask to be remembered by those whom he died to save? The great majority pass by; but there are a few who will never forget thee, Blessed Master! Memory must first become a blank; thought must first wither from our minds, ere we cease to cherish thy dear remembrance. But while love and gratitude remain in our hearts; until truth and tenderness be basished from the world, we will celebrate thy feast in remembrance of thee.
I will conclude this discourse with the customary invitation. This ordinance is the communion of Saints. Here we have fellowship with Christ, and with his Catholic church.—“And “all that in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord, both


their’s and our’s are invited to partake this holy communion. For the Universal Church, though composed of many small societies, is yet one body in Christ, and his Spirit is the soul which animates all the members; and if the Master in Heaven, has a feast for all, and a heart for all—then at his table on earth, there is room for all, and love for all.