[The Author publishes the following Discourse with a perfect consciousness of its many defects, and its entire want of merit as a literary composition--but is induced to offer it to the favourable consideration of the public, with the hope that it may obtain circulation, when the motives for its publication are made known, which are, to assist by the proceeds of its sale, in liquidating the debts, and in furnishing the new Church at Grand Manan, which the inhabitants of the island are unable to do, having already contributed to the extent of their limited means.
The Author considers it necessary to apologize for having allowed so much that is merely of local interest, to remain in the sermon--but, as many of the circumstances connected with the event which caused its production have, and may be misrepresented, he considers it requisite to publish it without any material alteration.]
GRAND MANAN, March 1841.
The following is a statement of the proceedings arising from the burning of the Episcopal Church at Grand Manan.
GRAND MANAN, Oct. 17. 1839.
In consequence of the destruction of the Church in this Parish by fire, divine service was performed on the 13th inst, at the Grand Harbour, on the 15th at the Northern Head, and on the 16th at Seal Cove. Some appropriate remarks were made by persons residing in different sections of the Island expressive of their own feelings and those of their neighbours, as far as came within their knowledge, with regard to the calamitous event which brought them together. The following was at each meeting, heartly and unanimously adopted, as the expression of their feelings.
Whereas on the night of Wednesday the 9th of this month at about 12 o'clock, the whole interior of St. Paul's Church in this Parish was discovered to be in flames, which in about one hour consumed the building; and whereas certain attending circumstances, (particularly the suspending in front of the Church, from a triangle, a figure, in which was found a paper, containing language which betokens premeditated malevolence and hostility against the Bishop of the Diocese, against the Rector of this Parish in particular, and four other persons of this County,) prove it to be the work of a sacrilegious incendiary. It is the feeling and opinion of the Wardens and Vestry, and of this assembly unanimously, that the perfect peace, unanimity, and good feeling that have prevailed among the friends of the Church since its attempted destruction by fire at Easter 1838; and the increasing regularity in the attendance on its services, and the confidential, friendly, and kind feelings that have been manifested between people and pastor, (being so universal as to confine the exceptions to some solitary individuals,) prove that the burning of the Church with the attrociously aggravated circumstances attending it, is by no means to be considered a demonstration of the feeling of this Parish, but on the contrary the expressions of unqualified abhorence of the deed and its perpetrators, (with the utter inability to identify them at present, are so universal, as [iii/iv] to limit the approvers, the abettors, and the instruments of this almost unheard of wickedness to some few, who are either devoid of any religious principles, and are therefore the opposers of all good, who are actuated by the grossest selfishness, or by some malevolent or vindictive feelings of a personal nature. And although the profane and sacrilegious hand may have aimed its blow at the destruction of the Church establishment, and the removal of its minister, it is the earnest wish of us all, and we are confident the almost universally prevailing feeling, that the designs of these workers of iniquity may prove completely unsuccessful, and that God of his infinite goodness, will turn their hearts and bring them to true repentance. And while we implore the sympathy of our christian brethren everywhere, we beg them to unite with us in devout prayers, that the 'disposer of all events,' who has permitted us to be so grieviously visited, will be favourable unto us, and prosper us, that we may have strength to rebuild 'the waste places of our Zion,' that we may worship there 'in spirit and in truth,' and have beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."
A list was attached to the foregoing containing the names of the Wardens and Vestry, fourteen in number, with 124 others.
With the church were consumed the gown, surplice, books, and pall. Within the week, the offerings of female friends, amounting to nearly thirteen pounds, were presented to the minister for the purpose of replacing his gown and surplice. And ere the ashes of the ruined church were scarcely cold, a subscription paper was opened for the erection of a new church, which within three days embraced 125 names, amounting to over 260 l. freely offered (exclusive of several who were absent.)
And the last, and not least interesting circumstance, showing the zeal, earnestness, and warm feeling which this most deplorable event has produced among all descriptions of persons in this Parish, was the presenting a subscription list from forty Sabbath-school children, with their collection, amounting to about twenty shillings.
JOHN DUNN, Rector.
THOS. REDMOND, Wardens.
My Brethren, the feelings which I have experienced within the last three days completely baffle my powers of description, and if they should this morning obtain the mastery over me, I must crave your indulgence, begging you to remember, that, independant of the confusion and alarm that have surrounded me, and the extremely painful feelings with which I am still affected, I stand before you, under circumstances so highly aggravated in their nature, that I believe the record of the Christian Church furnishes but few, and in this country no paralel.
It shall be my first object to draw your attention in some degree to the instructions of the text, adding such remarks and reflections, by way of application, as our circumstances call for, and my situation has allowed me to prepare.
Alarming and solemn was the complaint which the prophet Jeremiah once made to GOD against the Israelites. "O LORD, thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved, thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction, they have made their faces harder than a rock."
This is a picture of extreme hardness of heart, perverseness and rebellion against the ALMIGHTY selfishness, some imaginary pleasure, or unholy gratification are the sources of all vice and crime, and such as are actuated by these base motives can scarcely be restrained, excepting by Divine Judgments.
The most effectual means for producing that recollection so essential in making us wise and considerate, humble and dependant, is adversity! Why should mortal man delight his heart with selfishness? Why should he become the slave of pride and ambition, and boast himself against GOD, when all around him tends to prove his weakness and impotency, and the uncertainty of his existence? When alarmed by the apprehension of a Supreme Judge, and sensible of the weight of his displeasure, what resource has the sinner but humility, repentance, and application for GOD'S gracious favor, through the merits of CHRIST? When, therefore, adversity is unavailing, and the kind warnings of Divine goodness, and the severe strokes of GOD'S displeasure are [5/6] alike disregarded, and the sinners obstinacy is proof against disease, accidents and mortality, what resource remains for his conversion?
To this degree of hardness the Jews are said to have become subject, "they had made their faces harder than a rock," and does this dismal picture my hearers, exhibit our character? Have our lives and conversations, has our misapplication of GOD'S long suffering and blessings laid us under similar imputations? GOD forbid! But let us not deceive ourselves, GOD cannot be mocked, let us therefore pray Him "to search, try, and examine us, whether there be any wicked way in us, and implore Him to lead us in the way everlasting."
We know certainly, and feelingly that some of the Prophet's words are applicable to us. "O LORD thou hast stricken them," are not these words accomplished in us? We are under the hand of Divine Providence, is it His avenging and punishing hand, is it the visitation of his judgment upon our silts, our lukewarmness and our backsliding? Or is it a warning to flee from greater evils to come? "O LORD thou hast stricken them," has come to pass--but I trust it cannot he said that the remainder of the Prophet's words are accomplished, "they have not grieved."--No brethren, whilst I may apply the strong language "blackness of darkness," to the depravity, hardness of heart, impenitence and the indifferent or gratified spirit of a few among us, the LORD be praised, sighs of regret, tears of sorrow, and exclamations of honor testify that you have grieved over the ashes, and smoking ruins of our temple, "where prayer was wont to be made," and over the abominations wrought among us; but after all this abundant manifestation of our feelings, let us search diligently, have we no part at all in this reproach? Have we felt, and viewed aright, and as we ought, this calamity with which we are visited? Come then fellow sinners and fellow sufferers, lend me your attention, learn of the Prophet, hearken to the voice, the voice of the "living GOD, strong and mighty, who lighteneth the voice of His judgments with flames of fire"--"Hear ye the rod, and Him who hath appointed it."
What should be our feelings, our requests and our resolutions, on hearing this voice? Have we made so unprofitable a use of GOD'S mercies, as to render the rod of his correction essential?
But LORD, visit us as to thine infinite wisdom may seem necessary, for bringing us to repentance unto life, so speak, so teach, that we may hear, obey, and become wise unto salvation, speak LORD, and thy servants will hear thy voice, will hear "the rod, and Him who hath appointed it." O let us not harden our hearts against the strokes which have already fallen upon us, nor let our minds be overcome with gloom and dejection, let the [6/7] privation of good and gracious privileges once enjoyed, never render us careless or forgetful of the blessings which are still vouchsafed unto us, such depression unfits us for hearing the reverses of life, and is ingratitude to GOD, "who in the midst of wrath remembers mercy," and who never so far afflicts, as to deprive us of, or totally darken the prospects of reviving hope.
And whether GOD afflict his creatures in love, or in wrath, whether he afflict them for instruction, or for correction, our first duty under the rod is to become sensible of his justice, and that He willeth our good! Is it the trial or our resignation? Let the answer of our hearts be, "GOD is the disposer and ruler of all events, O GOD, thy will be done, not mine, I was dumb and opened not my mouth, because it was thy doing." Is it the trial of our love? "If in this life only we have hope in CHRIST, we are of all men most miserable;" and with Job, "O GOD, though thou slay me, yet will I trust in thee." Does GOD wish to wean us from this world? then He convinces us of the uncertainty and the unsatisfactory nature of all things earthly, that we may learn to place our hopes on the world to comb, and not chain them down to "this valley of tears." And does GOD visit us with adversity, that we may be awakened to the enormity of vice? In this we cannot doubt time justice and goodness of our Heavenly Father. Well for us, if the chastisement of this world be the means of preventing our being condemned with the world.--Well for us in this life we are made sensible of the deformities and horrors of those vices and crimes, which our appetites and passions have painted up in such bright and enticing colors; and viewing their consequences, let us ask ourselves the question which St. Paul put to the Romans, "what fruits have ye in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death." Consciousness of sin is the state of mind that the rod of adversity is intended to produce, and let this be the result and effect with us; if we see wickedness in our neighbors, let it serve as a warning to us, if we detect any way of allowed sin in ourselves, let us cast it out, let us turn from the evil of our ways, and give diligence to perfect holiness in the fear of GOD.
* * * * * * *
In the second place this rod of the ALMIGHTY should lead us to enquire into the causes and uses of our afflictions. Although the dispensations of our Heavenly Father are full of justice and mercy, wisdom and benevolence, yet we should not forget that usually the doings of our Heavenly Father are involved in darkness and mystery, and we should form our judgment of goodness and depravity, not so much from the outward success or reverses sent from GOD, as from the obedience or neglect of [7/8] His commandments--And we should not cavil or express surprise when the righteous and wicked share indiscriminately in the comforts and troubles, and in the goods and ills of this life, and should feel confident "that GOD makes all things work together for good to them who love and obey Him."
A solemn consideration for such as are in trouble is, that their present distress may be the forerunner of greater, when instead of becoming humbled and penitent, GOD'S warnings are unheeded, and the heart is still hardened in sin and unbelief.
Thus was it at one period with the Jews. "The LORD GOD of their fathers sent unto them by His messengers rising up by times and sending, because He had compassion on his people; but they mocked the messengers of GOD, they despised his word, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD arose against His people, so that there was no remedy." This division of subject brethren, deserves our most sincere and faithful examination like the plagues of Egypt, our calamities may be multiplied in number, and increased in severity. What then are our present feelings? What the state of our minds? Our trouble must be viewed as a messenger of the LORD, designing to open our eyes to see the effects of His favor and displeasure, and the necessity of our fleeing from the wrath to come, by faith, repentance and reformation. Do you listen to reproof and improve from correction? Or do you suit the character that David describes "as hating instruction." Oh ponder seriously those sinking words recorded in the 26th chapter of Leviticus, "If ye will not hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me, then I will walk contrary also unto you in fury. And I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins," and in subsequent verses it is added, "If ye walk contrary to me, I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins, and I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuary unto desolation."
Is threat put in execution against us? Do our sins and opposition to GOD demand it? Are questions which deserve the most heartfelt and searching examination, if you find any evil way indulged, if you discover any sin unrepented, and nature yet unsubdued, beware of permitting your hearts to he yet more hardened, but "let the unrighteous man forsake his ways, and the evil man his thoughts, and let all return to that GOD who will (through CHRIST) have mercy, and who will abundantly pardon;" return ye now every one from the evil of your doings, and amend your ways.
O think of the extreme obduracy and persevering wickedness; and weigh the consequences of replying either verbally, or practically "we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do after the imagination of our own hearts."
 If time permitted, this subject might be enlarged upon, both for instruction and edification, but we must hasten to the application.
And what can I say? What need I say? Your eyes behold, a deed has been done, brethren, at our very doors, before our eyes, at the bare hearing of which, the heart of every Christian man and woman must sink within them a deed (the sight of which in the hour of midnight darkness, was terrific and appalling beyond description, which none can fully imagine but those who beheld that devouring flame which completely filled those consecrated walls, who saw those naked beams, and watched that tower whole and unscorched, slowly and solemly inclining, and settling through the rafters into the furnace kindled for its reception by the sacralegious hand of man. Truly it fell as if it were saying to its destroyer, who might have been still within sight of it, "look at me, behold me falling, and let it never be effaced from your vision, let it descend with you to your grave, and rise with you to judgement." A deed has been done, what shall we call it? Against whom has the offence been committed? Against the living GOD? the Creator and ruler of the heavens and the earth, the witness of all deeds open and secret, against Him the arm has been uplifted, against the majesty and strength of heaven the attack has been made! The GOD whom Christians worship has been insulted and profaned. And O awful consideration, at the thought of which the Christian's heart must tremble, has that daring, that profane and depraved being, who either committed, or was accessary to that act, ever mocked the GOD of heaven by joining in worship within the walls of that sanctuary, or by kneeling in adoration to the "searcher of hearts;" has the assembly of Christians ever been polluted by that wretched man? and, O thought still more fearful and alarming, is he among us? Is that hardened man who neither fears GOD, or regards man now composing a part of this congregation." If he is within the sound of my voice, surely he must possess the spirit of a fiend, else his blood must chill in his veins. O GOD forbid, my Christian hearers, that ourselves, our families and our beloved sanctuary should have ever been within the influence of such a pestilence.
Against whom next in order has this deed of darkness been committed; against the ministers--messengers of the gospel of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, who expressly declares that our conduct towards them is viewed in the same light as if towards himself this act has been committed against us all personally, against our children, against the cause of religion, truth and godliness, against the peace and welfare of society, in a word, against [9/10] every thing near and dear to Christians. Who is the contriver? Whose is the design? Who made the preparations? Who put them into execution? These questions may baffle our penetration, our very imagination, but there is one that knoweth all things, to whom the darkness is as the light, who can say "thou art the man?" Who can place his mark upon him whereby he may be known, his deeds shall follow him--shall that man prosper on the earth? Did that man ever prosper who lifted his hand against GOD, against the Church, His ministers and his temple But even should he escape the judgment of this world, the final judgment will be meeted unto him according to his deeds, And is it to be supposed, that if impenitent, the perpetrators of this crime, with its aggravating circumstances, will descend to their grave and be gathered to their fathers in peace?"
But my Christian hearers, while we entertain the utmost abhorence of the deed, and while we look upon the perpetrators as far, very far gone in depravity, as in fact Infidels or Atheists, without GOD in the world; let us not forget that they have immortal souls, and they are equally with ourselves the objects of CHRIST'S redemption, let us therefore every one of us, far from harboring any malice against them, devoutly pray for GOD'S glory, that they may see the evil of their ways, be brought by the power of saving grace, to heartfelt conviction, to repentance unto life, and to that salvation which is in CHRIST JESUS.
And whilst our properties, and possibly our lives may be in danger from the same source, let us under a sense of the power of Divine protection, fear no evil, but go onwards in the path of duty, in the strength of the LORD, putting our trust in Him, whilst obeying His commands through faith in CHRIST. We are doing his work, He is able to save and defend us, in all dangers; fearing GOD, rather than man, we can safely leave the result to Divine control. And especially let us diligently enquire whether we cannot trace the hand of omnipotent mercy and justice, in our present distress? It may be a just judgment upon the sins and deficiencies of both people and ministers, and whether under the Divine interposition much good may not result from it.
Are we deprived of a sanctuary because we did not sufficiently value it, because we were insensible of its advantages and blessings? Because we were not duly grateful? And especially because some were so regardless of its worship, and so negligent in entering its courts, and paying their vows in the presence, of GOD'S people? Is it because so many are unmindful of the sanctity of the Sabbaths and forget to hallow them, or is it because so many are careless of the religious instruction of their children and families and because some profaned its altars with [10/11] the incense of unhallowed fire, and with the mocking of heartless and hypocritical worship? Because they entered his courts and "professed Him with their lips, while their hearts were far from Him?" Or are we thus severely visited, because of the unworthiness, the want of zeal and many deficiencies of him, who has led your devotions and ministered to you in holy things? The LORD knows you are not ignorant, and I feel, in this respect, something was required to remove lukewarmness and to excite zeal and sincerity. Now my Brethren if these shortcomings and misdoings have in any way been instrumental in this especial visitation, let us not stop our ears, close our eyes, or harden our hearts, but "hear the rod and Him that hath sent it;" let us take warning, and be aroused to renewed diligence and fidelity, sincerity and holiness, that "we may in all things adorn the doctrine of GOD our SAVIOUR." Let us all devoutly pray, that it may through Divine Grace be instrumental in making us "a peculiar people zealous of good works," that we may come forth from the fire of adversity tried and purified, improved in strength and value, as pure gold cleansed from the dross.
My Christian brethren, what is the loss we are this day lamenting, who realizes it? Is it the loss of money, of lands, or of houses? It is something that has a value of a different stamp set upon it. It is the temple of the living GOD, where the Divine presence is promised to dwell, the sanctuary of the LORD of Hosts, the consecrated place, "where prayer was wont to be made," of which it was said, "come let us go up together unto the house of the LORD and take sweet counsel together." The temple before whose altars some have vowed their belief in, and devotion to the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, the one GOD of their faith, and where many have presented and offered their beloved offspring to be baptized into the same faith; to be dedicated to, and received into the arms of that beloved SAVIOUR, who said, "suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven."
The altar before which some have (I trust in sincerity) knelt to receive from the highest order of our ministry, the prayer for the divine and blessed spirit to rest upon them, where they voluntarily, and I hope heartily, renewed their baptismal covenant.
The altar around which, husband and wife, parent and child, the most aged man and woman in the parish have knelt side by side, and I doubt not devoutly received the emblems of the holy and blood of their dying SAVIOUR, have eaten and drank thereof, and had their souls nourished by faith, as their bodies are by food.
That desk, from which has ascended the sacrifice of praise and prayer, it is to be feared, too often from a heart languid and [11/12] deficient in lively faith,--but it is to be hoped, that many prayers have ascended from that house, as the incense of grateful hearts, and have entered into the ears of the "hearer and answerer of prayers."
That pulpit from which so many sermons have been delivered with the view of instilling the pure doctrines, and the salutary truths of the blessed gospel into the hearts of the hearers, for their edification, regeneration and salvation. And if in some hearts the seed has fallen on barren, or stony soil, yet I trust we have grounds for believing that in others, it has taken root, sprang up and brought forth fruit. But of all these things GOD is the judge, and for all these privileges and talents we shall be called to the most strict account. And lastly, those walls, which have enclosed the mortal remains of those near and dear to many of you, and within which, many of you have, no doubt, looked forward that your lifeless bodies should receive the last solemn services of religion. These, brethren, are the objects which you have lost, which were rendered valuable and dear from various associations.
That edifice consecrated to the worship of GOD, for the erection of which, many who now hear me persevered and labored, and over the completion of which, they rejoiced? What has become of it? Over its ashes you sigh, you mourn, you shed the silent tear; that temple with its altar, its bible, books of devotion and its vestments have fallen a sacrifice in the space of one short hour to the sacrilegious incendiary.
And what is his character? Is he a fiend or an enemy. What is his purpose and design? Was it GOD'S glory, the peace, of this community, or the welfare of yourselves and children?
Is he still roaming about among us? seeking the destruction of the roofs, and possibly of the lives of some of us? Surely this is an awfully fearful state for any people to realize in a Christian land, and are we insensible or indifferent? If not, then let us turn our faces against the deed, against the originators, perpetrators, and also the approvers, and rest not till they are made manifest, and expelled from our doors, that we and our families may rest in peace.
I mention the approvers, by whom I mean any man or woman, who has ever professed an interest in that Church, or that has ever worshipped within its walls, every one of whatever religious denomination, calling themselves Christians, that look upon those ashes with indifference, or can make that sacrilegious deed a by-word, an object of laughter and ridicule, I would even include all who do not heartily abhor the crime, and the doer, who fail to express their regret that persons could exist among us capable of such deeds of darkness, who, to say the least, do not [12/13] mourn over the injury done the cause of GOD and of religion, and the deep reproach brought upon this community. If we enquire into the design or object of this act, whom was it to benefit? Whom to injure? I can imagine no real benefit to the originator, and none to the perpetrator, excepting as he may have gained by the reward or wages of crime.
But was the blow aimed at me? So say the reports which come from one section of the Parish, erroneously attaching to it the loss of my salary. So says the language of one of the instruments or agents, expressed in a written paper put into our hands purposely to aggravate the crime, and to point out its origin and object. Although the threatened loss of my gown is accomplished, it is but temporary, because it appears that through the kindness and good feeling of Christian females, who are ever most forward and ready in seasons of distress, who were last at the Saviour's cross, and first at his tomb. A single Sabbath is not permitted to pass without providing the means of replacing it with a better. While with the old one, many endearing associations of earlier days, and of the commencement of my ministry are connected, yet the new will have a still higher value attached to it; I allude to these apparently trifling matters to show the existing feeling, in whom we are to repose confidence, where to look for our friends. The description of condolence and sympathy we are to expect from some is not suited to "strengthen the feeble knees, or to lift up the hands that hang down." "It is the hour of adversity that tries our friends." It is reported from the same source, that this deed of darkness will be the means of extinguishing your spiritual light, that the Church will not be rebuilt, and the result will be my removal. It is known to many of you, that for some reasons, I would have removed from this Parish some time since could my place have been supplied, and many of you may remember my declaring from that pulpit which is now nought but ashes that I would never force my services upon an unwilling people, a "living" shall never induce me to continue in a Parish to which I may be unacceptable.
And if I am to understand the fearful transactions of last Wednesday night, (never to be effaced from vivid recollection) as an expression of the feelings of the parish, either that they wish me to make room for another, or that they have no further desire for a Church, I will soon find another field for labor, therefore as respect the future, all depends upon yourselves, much depends upon the decision of the day; it is evident the minister can accomplish but little, unless sustained, countenanced and supported by his people.
And should it be made manifest, that the feelings displayed in [13/14] the expression and reports, to which allusion has been made, and in the fearful scene of the past week, are to be confined to a few who must be actuated by dislike to all religion or by malevolence and interested motives, or personal enmity, I assure you a conspiracy of such a nature, limited as I trust it is, shall with GOD'S grace never move me from my post.
Let this be the best test, if the friends of the Church will come forth and separate themselves from her enemies, if they will evince a greater fear and regard for GOD and religion, man for man, if they will manifest themselves worthy of a Church and pastor, if they will hold up my hands, by their cheerful, sincere and consistent countenance, by their union and earnest prayers, to their Heavenly FATHER, and by using their own exertions (only to the extent of their ability) under, and with the Divine blessing and co-operation, united with the sympathy and support I so confidently rely upon, from Christian brethren throughout the country, (unless I fall myself a prey to the midnight incendiary or assassin, and if GOD continues my health,) in twelve months from the night in which the blaze and smoke of our late Church ascended in the Heavens, the incense of prayer and praise shall ascend from the altar of another Church to that GOD "who giveth and who taketh, who ruleth in the armies of Heaven, and amidst the children of men as seemeth to Him most fitting." And brethren, look not upon this as undertaken in human strength, therefore let not sleep close your eyelids this night, till you all devoutly and believingly pray for Divine grace and protection, for Divine strength and direction for your unworthy pastor, that his knees may he strengthened, and that his hands may be supported, until it shall please the author and giver of all good "to build again the waste places of our zion." And that it may please Him to raise up and continue to your pastor after his own heart, that he may show unto you the way of eternal life.
And never let us harbor a desponding thought, or allow a discouraging look, but let us take courage and go forth in the strength of the LORD, trusting in Him, that He will bring it about, have faith and pray without ceasing, working unitedly and diligently. Confident that the Author of all good will bring good out of this evil, "for while with one hand he pulleth down with the other he raiseth up."
And whilst we should all be impressed with the spirit of the deepest humility and penitence, and of heartfelt prayer for GOD'S sanctifying grace, we should by no means yield to dejection or despair, but build our hopes upon the sure mercies and manifold promises of GOD, and the resources we still possess, on the righteousness of our cause, on the correct feelings we so generally [14/15] manifested; on the devout prayers that I firmly trust will ascend to Heaven, on the purposes and resolutions of amendment of life, renewed zeal, sincerity and union, and frustrate not these hopes by formal or heartless worship, by forgetfulness or lukewarmness. And, brethren, pray for us of the ministry, that we may ever be faithful and ready to make any sacrifice to sustain truth, and promote righteousness and GOD'S glory.
Finally, my brethren, be strong, quit you like men, be courageous, put ye on the armour of the LORD, remember that which costs us but little is lightly esteemed, maintaining consciences void of offence towards GOD and towards men, let us fight the good fight of faith. Let us approach the throne of grace, with penitent and believing hearts, with vows of constancy and fidelity, praying heartily for the peace of our community, for individual salvation and for the prosperity of CHRIST'S Church.
Let us prostrate ourselves before the LORD, as did David before the destroying angel, and earnestly invoice Divine favor and pardon, through the merits of CHRIST. And may the present trouble, and every earthly occurrence, and the exercises and the feelings of this day be sanctifyed to the producing of the hope of the righteous, the joy and praise of the grateful, the conviction of the impenitent, the reformation of the irreligious, the arousing of the lukewarm the conversion of many sons and daughters to GOD, and the final salvation of us all, through the mediation and sacrifice of Him who liveth and reigneth with the Father and Holy Spirit ever one GOD.--Amen.